243036 Closing the Gap: Lessons learned in an evaluation of community-based projects to reduce health disparities among minority and underrepresented groups

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saleh M. M. Rahman, MD, PhD, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL
Monica Hayes, EdD,, MSW , Office of Minority Health, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL
Background: Mandated by ‘Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: Closing the Gap Act', the FDOH, Office of Minority Health has been funding programs to reduce health outcome disparities and promote disease prevention activities among underserved communities in Florida, in designated disparity areas such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, maternal and infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, adult and child immunization, and oral health care. Objectives: To conduct an evaluability assessment and evaluation of Closing the Gap to establish the indicators for immediate impact and outcomes based on data collected by the projects and to formulate evidence- based recommendations for the future. Methods: Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to assess evaluability, and to evaluate process, impact, and outcomes. Quantitative analyses were done in each area of health to quantify the pre and post intervention changes in recommended indicators during 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 project periods. Data on 53 projects in seven different health areas are combined and analyzed for significant proportional changes. A survey was also conducted among project participants to measure satisfaction in service, staff, cultural sensitivity, educational materials, and other related areas. Results: Despite multiple challenges ‘Closing the Gap' programs are having an impact in reducing health disparities in diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, HIV/AIDS, adult and child immunization, maternal and infant mortality and oral health in Florida. Conclusion: Challenges are identified in data collection, strategies, uniformity, and sustainable partnerships. Along with others, more CBPR approaches and cost-effectiveness analysis components are recommended for future success.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Design and conduct an evaluation of community-based health disparity projects 2.Identify the barriers in conducting research and evaluation in health disparity 3. Formulate a methodological approach in challenging situations to achieve best possible measures in health disparity programs

Keywords: Health Disparities, Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an author and presenter because I was the PI of this project to conduct evaluability assessment and evaluation of the projects, writing reports and recommendations. I have been working in public health for the last 15 years both in national and international settings.
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.