241798 Traditional public health delivery programs no more: Building community capacity to achieve social justice

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:10 PM

Derek R. Smith, MPH/MSW , Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Edith Cabuslay, MPH , Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Scott Morrow, MD, MPH , Health Officer, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
The San Mateo County Tobacco Prevention Program increases capacity for public health campaigns by engaging non-traditional partners and building relationships with communities most affected by tobacco-related disease. In these partnerships, community advocates gain skills to address the social determinants of health that contribute to health inequities. The program has successfully connected with community through contracting, technical assistance provision, and division of campaign tasks.

Recently, the program engaged the local mental health and substance abuse recovery community to explore the core reasons why tobacco use rates are drastically higher in that community; local survey data shows approximately 50% of those in local behavioral health programs are current smokers, and locally conducted focus groups explain some of the reasons why this disparity persists.

A local African-American youth organization has also partnered to begin a community dialogue and campaign combating tobacco industry targeting through menthol cigarette advertising. A local African-American leader has grown through the campaign to become part of statewide and national health efforts. The program has additionally teamed up with migrant laborer youth to address housing standards, the Tongan community around health assessment and data use, and the disability community in an effort to integrate health and fairness issues in housing.

Best practices developed from these partnerships to address social injustice while improving public health include efforts to build on the existing strengths of each community partner, encouraging use of data to affect community change, providing tailored technical assistance, and developing a strategic plan to move each public health effort forward.

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

Learning Objectives:
1)Identify 3 methods of supporting community organizations or advocates as they pursue a social justice project 2)Discuss options for tailored approaches to public health campaigns in diverse communities.

Keywords: Community Capacity, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have directed the San Mateo County Tobacco Prevention Program for 5 years, supervising a variety of community-based health prevention campaigns and projects.
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.