239954 Taking It to the curbside: Engaging communities to create sustainable change for health

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:24 PM

Karen Hacker, MD MPH , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Shalini Tendulkar, ScD, ScM , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
Ann Digirolamo, PhD MPH , CareUSA, Atlanta, GA
MIlagro Grullon , Lawrence Community Connections, Lawrence, MA
Carolyn Leung, EdD, MA , Tufts Clinical Translational Science Institute, Tufts Medical School, Boston, MA
Clara Savage, EdD , Common Pathways, Worcester, MA
A.H. Strelnick, MD , Institute for Community and Collaborative Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY
Catlin Rideout, MPH , NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
Background: Capacity building and sustainability of community health improvement efforts are important concepts for Community based participatory research (CBPR). However, community partners and investigators have few opportunities to come together to develop shared definitions and strategies for enhancing capacity building and creating sustainable community health impact. Methods: In 2010, funded by Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR), the Harvard Catalyst CBPR initiative in collaboration with other regional Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) and community organizations hosted a conference to define these concepts and identify facilitators, obstacles and strategies for both. Results: Over 200 people attended the conference; 54% were investigators and 46% were community partners. The program included a keynote speaker, panel discussions and breakout sessions in which participants engaged in facilitated discussions using case examples. Following the conference, a cross CTSA group, consisting of community partners and researchers embarked on a qualitative analysis of the breakout sessions to 1) define capacity building and sustainability, 2) identify obstacles and facilitators and 3) pinpoint strategies. The analytic process included identification of themes and development of a final code book. The key elements identified as necessary for capacity building and sustainability included committed partnerships; enduring activities, infrastructure; concrete outcomes; and multi-level focus. Obstacles and facilitators included partnership characteristics, resources, shared goals and contextual factors. Conclusions: Opportunities for investigators and community partners to jointly define important constructs in community health help develop shared understanding of key concepts such as capacity building and sustainability. Both are crucial elements for community health improvement.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1)Identify community definitions of capacity building 2)Describe challenges to sustainability of CBPR efforts 3)Discuss facilitating factors that enhance community capacity building and sustatinability of community health efforts.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Sustainability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked on the project and am a second author
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.