243944 Successful Institutionalization of a Community Based Health Promotion Program

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Julia Roncoroni, BA , Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Whitney Wall, MPH , Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Carolyn M. Tucker, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Khanh Nghiem, MS , Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Michelle M. Nagri, BS , Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Community-based health promotion interventions almost always require successful institutionalization for sustained public health impacts. The Health-Smart Church (HSC) Program is an example of a community-based health promotion program that included an institutionalization component. The HSC Program is the product of a collaborative partnership effort between a university and 14 nearby African American churches to promote health-smart (health-promoting) behaviors among African American female church members with hypertension and/or who are overweight or obese and their family (child or adult) support partners. The institutionalization component of the HSC Program involved training pastors and church leaders of the 14 churches to serve as health empowerment coaches whose major role was to implement the program with members of their congregation using church and community resources. The HSC Programs at these churches have been operating successfully for over a year without the assistance of counseling health psychology faculty or the students who trained the health empowerment coaches.

In the proposed interactive session the challenges encountered during the institutionalization of the HSC Program will be identified and the strategies utilized to overcome these challenges will be shared. These strategies include the following: (1) establishing institutionalization success indicators, (2) problem-solving to overcome constraints to community involvement (e.g., limited time and finances), (3) having the health empowerment coaches work in teams, (4) having pastors champion program institutionalization activities, and (5) empowering the health empowerment coaches to customize the program to meet the needs of the members of their particular church.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify specific factors that may hinder or promote project sustainability and successful institutionalization.

Keywords: Obesity, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I organize and evaluate community-based research interventions and research studies regarding health care access and engagement in healthy behaviors.
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.