248974 "Getting Active in Health and Research": A community academic partnership increasing health and research literacy and advocacy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ester R. Shapiro, PhD , Psychology and Gaston Institute Center, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Roland Smart, Community Outreach Expertise , HORIZON Center, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston, MA
Feleshia Battles , Cherishing Our Hearts and Souls Coalition, Boston, MA
Chioma Nnaji, MPH, MEd , HORIZON Center, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston, MA
A growing number of researcher/community partnerships are addressing health disparities and promoting equity by increasing community engagement in research. Yet many community members do not see research as relevant or beneficial to their lives. Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) partnerships address these gaps by bringing a continuum of inclusive research experiences into communities. However, educational barriers significantly reduce community capacity to participate in a range of research experiences. Many researchers and academic institutions fail to make research knowledge accessible, relevant and accountable to improving personal and community health. This presentation will describe a participatory health research education approach (Wallerstein, 2004, 2006) to development of coalition partnered, community-based health education and research literacy programs. The collaboration brought together the Roxbury Cherishing Our Hearts and Souls Coalition, with a ten-year history of advocacy in African-American health, and the HORIZON Center Community and Research Empowerment (CARE) project at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, an urban public minority-serving “research institution with a teaching soul” and history of community engagement. Community health education events were designed to emphasize the research literacy and advocacy dimensions of health knowledge, reducing educational barriers and inspiring participation in creating and utilizing the knowledge-base. The presentation describes how coalition health education and advocacy events were designed, implemented and evaluated to communicate the importance of systematic research as foundational to promoting health. Our research literacy approach highlighted social determinants of health frameworks and participatory research methods as tools democratizing research participation and linking knowledge with advocacy to promote personal and social change.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the research literacy and advocacy components of health literacy Apply a research empowerment approach to community partnered health education programs

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked and published in the field of community participation in research and empowerment health education
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.