235567 A PLACE--A Community Assessment Tool to Measure Syringe Access Readiness

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:31 AM

Katie Burk, MPH , CBA Department, Harm Reduction Coalition, Oakland, CA
Narelle Ellendon, RN , CBA Department, Harm Reduction Coalition, New York, NY
Extensive research has demonstrated that Syringe Access Services (SAS) are effective in preventing HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) transmission among injection drug user (IDUs). Drawing upon our extensive experience in providing technical assistance to communities impacted by drug use, the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) has identified several factors influencing the establishment and expansion of SAS . HRC's SAS Community Mobilization team developed A PLACE, an assessment tool to assist agencies and alliances in identifying barriers and opportunities to SAS in their communities and developing proactive strategies around SAS efforts. A PLACE assesses six crucial components for successful SAS—Awareness, Policy/Practice, Leadership, Alliances, Culture, and Establishment/Expansion. This framework guides health departments, non-profits, and advocates through a series of questions measuring their community's readiness for SAS establishment or expansion. A PLACE can be administered through key informant interviews or surveys and used to guide strategic planning efforts and support coalition-building. A PLACE is a versatile tool that is adaptable to diverse communities, geographic locations, and institutions. By utilizing A PLACE for community assessment, providers and stakeholders can better understand how to leverage their community's strengths and resources in order to reduce barriers to SAS. This process supports the building of community capacity to integrate successful SAS into HIV and HCV prevention efforts.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify the six components of community readiness for syringe access that the A PLACE framework addresses. Describe two ways that the A PLACE model can be used to assist community stakeholders in establishing or expanding syringe access services.

Keywords: Syringe Exchange, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Community Mobilization Specialist and have experience conducting needs assessments with communities initiating syringe access services.
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.