222862 Setting a policy agenda for community-level action: Mobilizing communities from their grassroots to grasstops

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Shannon Griffin-Blake, PhD , Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Alyssa Easton, MPH, PhD , Healthy Communities Program, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Ann Ussery-Hall, MPH , Achieve, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, Decatur, GA
Phyllis Nichols, MPH , Division of Adult and Community Health - Healthy Communities Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Branalyn Williams, MPH , CDC's Healthy Communities Program, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Identifying the social, economic, historical, and political characteristics of the community and understanding the varied manifestations of health and chronic disease based on these characteristics becomes critical when setting an agenda for community-level action. Therefore, in order to achieve health equity and eliminate health disparities in communities with varying geographical elements, racial and ethnic diversity, and political will, community context helps to define not only who, but how to engage decision-makers and community leaders to help facilitate local-level change. Building upon the evidence-base for community-level interventions used to improve social infrastructures and built environments, communities funded through CDC's Healthy Communities Program employed strategies to address neighborhood living conditions (e.g., improving neighborhood safety and sidewalks), community development (e.g., developing walking paths, retrofitting streets with bike lanes, and creating farmer's markets and community gardens), social cohesion and civic engagement (e.g., engaging and sustaining community coalitions and partnerships), and improved health care opportunities (e.g., creating health care navigators). By building community capacity (e.g., commitment, resources, and advocacy skills) within almost 500 communities, the traditional chronic disease paradigm is shifting from focusing on the individual to a more upstream approach that creates a concentrated effort in employing policy, systems, and environmental changes that can directly impact social determinants of health and related chronic disease risk factors. By taking a population–based approach, community-level change is being executed and sustained by mobilizing communities from their grassroots (community members) to grasstops (decision-makers) in this policy implementation process.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1.) Explain how decision makers and community leaders can be mobilized to identify, prioritize, and implement key policy, systems, and environmental change strategies; 2.) Describe at least three policy, systems, and environmental strategies that can be employed at local level to facilitate community-level change in social infrastructures and built environments; 3.) Analyze sustainability efforts that have been developed for long-term planning of community health needs and bringing to bear appropriate resources, partners, and community-level change.

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Lead health scientist for HCP community-funded efforts
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.