238362 Partnering the Spanish-speaking Community with Government Agencies for a Drug-Free Cherryland

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Avani Desai, MPH (c) , Global Health Department, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
The Spanish-speaking community in Cherryland has been highly targeted by the tobacco and alcohol industry. Additionally, lack of transportation, and language/cultural barriers impact the community's decision on alcohol and tobacco consumption. In order to determine how to best address the issue over overconsumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, a needs assessment was conducted with the local school district, various agencies and stakeholders, and the youth. California Healthy Kids Survey data was used to support the qualitative assessment. Results substantiated the need to involve the Spanish-speaking community in the decision and policy making processes to build capacity and community ownership. The community organizing model was used to connect the Spanish-speaking community with existing government structures and coalitions and reduce cultural/language barriers. This was done through a series of capacity-building trainings on prevention, policy, presentation/oral skill development, and government structure. Trainings were conducted among 20 Spanish-speaking parents. As a result, parents have had a five-fold increase in participation at government coalition meetings. Being empowered through the process, they have called themselves “Padres Unidos” (Parents United). A “Take Back the Parks” movement has been initiated to increase their presence in the local parks to dissuade alcohol use and improve the norms around drinking at the parks. There has been a marked decrease in alcohol consumption at three parks in Cherryland through the concerted and collective efforts of the government-community partnership.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the importance of engaging various minority ethnic populations, especially the Spanish-speaking/Latino population, into the community government engagement process to support a drug-free community.

Keywords: Community Capacity, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present due to my experience in ATOD prevention as a prevention specialist, MPH graduate, and CHES certification.
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.