245660 Healthy Communities through Action: Addressing the health needs of Denver's injection drug using community through participatory engagement

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:24 AM

Stephanie Wood, MPH, CHES , Harm Reduction Action Center, Denver, CO
Community-based participatory projects (CBPPs) require equitable, collaborative partnerships between community members, community-based organizations and project facilitators. Few CBPPs have successfully captured the dynamics of injection drug user (IDU) community project partnerships. Through Denver, Colorado's IDU Healthy Communities through Action project, IDU community members have provided a deeper understanding of community health needs, flaws in public health systems and policies, and the need for community self-efficacy. Over a six-month period, IDU community members utilized a multi-media approach to identify and address health problems affecting their community. Members shared valuable stories through photography, video, writings and paintings, describing principle community concerns not always anticipated by public health practitioners. These health concerns included promotion of access and disposal of syringes, mental health services, non-discriminatory healthcare, and reducing violence against the homeless. Upon the project's first phase of completion, a participatory evaluation was conducted to evaluate the project's meaningfulness, usability, and sustainability. These visual and narrative materials are being shared with the larger IDU community; public health and human service agencies; and the larger public, thus providing opportunities to discuss interpretation and encourage exploration of equal partnership in CBPPs. This presentation will provide a similar forum while summarizing project results, and describing how advocacy efforts have improved through narrative-driven public health policy and program recommendations. This presentation will also discuss lessons learned in engaging IDU as a community that suffers from substance abuse, extenuating mental health issues, poverty, stigmatization, and psychosocial marginalization.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate the procedures for designing and evaluating a community-based participatory project 2. Identify and define community-led leadership activities within community-based participatory projects 3. Formulate ideas for a dissemination plan for community-based participatory projects 4. List four ideas for utilization of project results in the context of public health promotion, education and advocacy

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee community health program administration and evaluation such as IV-drug-related disease prevention, community health education with marginalized populations, and community-based participatory research as an academic-community organization liaison.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Harm Reduction Action Center Program Administration and Evaluation Employment (includes retainer)

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.