226280 Community Involvement in the Design of Community Health Equity Reports

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Benjamin Evans, MHSA , Center on Human Needs, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Amber Haley, MPH , Center on Human Needs, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
Steven Woolf, MD , Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Family Medicine, Fairfax, VA
Emily Zimmerman, PhD , Center on Human Needs, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Steve Sedlock , Virginia Network for Geospatial Health Research, Richmond, VA
Brian Smedley, PhD , Health Policy Institute, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Washington, DC, DC
Objective: This project utilized the input of community teams in cities and counties participating in the “Place Matters” initiative to develop tailored community health equity reports targeting local policies.

Methods: Researchers worked with partner teams—local health departments, faith-based organizations, and other civic leaders— in nine communities to shape the report to address local concerns and priorities. Specifically, the community teams were directly engaged in defining goals for the report; domains and indicators of interest; key questions, the analytic plan, and valid geocoded data sources; and relevant prior research in the community. The process, which facilitated this community engagement, will be described. Results: The teams sought to use the reports to persuade elected officials to improve access to food, quality of public education, and access to health care. Domains of interest included environmental justice, institutional racism, the built environment, and violence. Health outcomes of interest included life expectancy, asthma and obesity. The specific indicators selected by the communities to measure geographic disparities in social determinants of health, and the lessons learned from the dialogue, will be presented.

Conclusions: Nine different communities with varied interests were able to collaborate with researchers to tailor studies to local priorities in order to create leverage to facilitate policy change. The advantages and challenges of engaging community input as a first step in such research will be reviewed.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Document the steps necessary to reach consensus amongst a diverse team of people in a short amount of time. 2. Create a template for a pertinent community health equity report. 3. Solicit timely feedback from diverse community teams.

Keywords: Social Inequalities, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I am one of two project managers that oversaw the community directed portion of the production of Community Health Equity Reports.
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.