241684 Cleveland community voices project on health inequalities and translational genomics research

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM

Sanjur Brooks, Bachelors of arts , Department of Bioethics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
The relevance of genomics research for reducing health inequalities is being debated by geneticists, social scientists, policy analysts and bioethicists. Some believe that genomics can provide important clues for isolating causal factors in health disparities, while others argue that an overemphasis on genetic determinants might lead researchers to ignore important social or environmental contributions to health inequalities. Further, underserved and minority communities may be resistant to research that potentially could be used to stigmatize either their lineage or their lifestyles as unusually unhealthy or defective. However, the views of underserved communities on the implications of using genetic research to address health disparities have rarely been studied.

This presentation will discuss a recent community-based study on genomic research and health inequalities. The “Cleveland Community Voices Project” has developed multiple local and regional community partnerships to achieve its goal of better understanding the opinions of underserved African Americans, Hispanics, and Whites in Cleveland about the use of genetics to address health disparities. Preliminary data from a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews suggest an awareness of the causes of health inequalities in underserved communities and the link between family health histories and genetics. This presentation will also discuss the development of innovative approaches to disseminate study results back to community members as well as researchers and policy makers. We believe that engaging communities who are experiencing health disparities is essential when considering the potential impact of translational genomic research applications on public health.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe one approach to the process of conducting community-based empirical research with underserved ethnically diverse population groups in an urban setting 2)Explain the hopes and concerns of underserved populations regarding genetic research for reducing health inequalities 3)List strategies for improving knowledge and understanding about genetic research and its implications for reducing health disparities 4)Discuss insights on best practices for disseminating study results to underserved communities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I earned my bachelors of art degree in the field of biomedical humanities from Hiram College. Through my training at Hiram, I presented numerous oral presentations on empirical research data. Currently, I have acquired training as a research assistant in the department of Bioethics, which provided me with foundational ethical training in the department. I also engaged in daily qualitative research methods with the Community Voices project, data and analysis.
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.