208851 Using media to mobilize community and influence policy

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:45 PM

Melissa Preciado, MPH (c) , Global Health, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Kelly Winjum, MPH , Global Health, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Rebecca Medina, MPH (c) , Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Juan Carlos Belliard, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Edward McField Jr., PhD, MSA , School of Science & Technology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Background: The City of San Bernardino is located in the Third California, a term that describes the disparities in social and health indicators between regions in California. To address health disparities, a trans-disciplinary intersectorial coalition implemented a Health Disparities Awareness Campaign with the goal of mobilizing the community and policy makers. Methods: Over a period of 9 months, the coalition organized community screenings of selected episodes of the documentary UnNatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? The audience was predominantly comprised of females and ethnic minorities representing community-based organizations, health sector, public sector, and academia. Results: The Coalition successfully engaged 450 community members and policymakers including officials of the Dept. of Public Health, County Board of Supervisors, a State representatives. An electronic response system was used to assess participant's pre- and post- documentary knowledge and attitudes towards health disparities. Outcomes: a policy agenda to address infant mortality, immigrant health, and the built environment to increase opportunities for physical activity; increased knowledge and change of attitude regarding issues affecting other ethnic groups; and increased readiness to establish partnerships across sectors. This presentation examines the effectiveness of media for policy advocacy and reports on the impact of the documentary on the audience as measured through electronic responses to specific questions and provides demographic description (race, gender, etc) of campaign participants. Additionally, we discuss the development of the coalition and examine lessons learned from the advocacy strategy that included the use of media to mobilize the community and policymakers.

Learning Objectives:
- Describe effective strategies to engage local and state policymakers using media resources - List steps in organizing public forums with policymakers and community members - Discuss process to establish a community-based health policy advocacy agenda

Keywords: Advocacy, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm a candidate for MPH in Global Health. I assisted in the design of the Campaign being described and assisted in data collection and analysis of the electronic responses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.