239570 Will a community based participatory research approach make us better prepared?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

David Busolo, MPH, RN , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Thelma Gamboa-Maldonado, DrPH (c), MPH, CHES , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Biblia Kim, MPH(c) , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Walleska I. Bliss, MPH, MSW(c) , School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Preparedness, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Susanne Montgomery, PhD, MPH, MS , Behavioral Health Institute, Loma Linda University, Redlands, CA
Natural and man-made disasters are common in the U.S especially in southern California. Low income minority populations living in inland counties face a greater risk of being severely affected by these disasters. Environmental health (EH) professionals equipped with knowledge and skills in emergency preparedness (EP) and planning devote much of their time to providing fee-for-service activities. This has left vulnerable communities at poor preparation levels. Community based organizations using community engagement strategies have a better understanding of these communities' needs, and assets. In exploring community engagement in disaster preparation and planning, this study proposes to train the EH professionals on Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approaches to use in building relationships with the vulnerable populations and integrating them into environmental health emergency preparedness (EHEP) aspects of their departments. Creating these linkages is likely to increase the EP capacity of both EH professionals and the communities that they serve. To best inform community engagement, needs and asset assessment (NA+A) using windshield surveys, participant observations, semi-structured interviews and confirmatory focus groups among community members and EH professionals was done. Data was transcribed, coded, themed and analyzed using grounded theory. Results showed poor community engagement and a lack of knowledge on emergency preparation and planning. Development of CBPR-emergency preparation program is ongoing. This will inform the use of CBPR approaches that will be compared with the traditional expert-driven approach. The results will help in development of a toolkit that will be used to enhance emergency preparedness and increase resilience in vulnerable communities.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the key components of community based participatory research approaches that environmental health professionals and community members can use to improve their levels of emergency preparation. 2. Identify at least three challenges to using CBPR approaches by environmental health professionals in service delivery. 3. Describe how the lessons learned from using CBPR approaches in improving disaster resilience among minority populations can be replicated in other vulnerable populations.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience in using community based participatory strategies, community engagement, program planning and education.
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.