248978 Examining an approach aimed at building a multicultural and healthy community

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mia Luluquisen, DrPH, MPH, RN , Alameda County Public Health Department, Community Asssessment Planning and Education/Evaluation Unit, Oakland, CA
Liz Maker, DrPH , Community Assessment Planning and Education/Evaluation, Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
German Martinez , Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
The City-County-Neighborhood Initiative (CCNI) is a partnership between Alameda County Public Health Department, City of Oakland and community organizations in Oakland, CA that provides multi-component public health interventions in two distinct low-income communities of color. An important intervention element is raising social capital via neighborhood involvement and increasing trust among residents. Research has shown that the construct of trusting relationships has the effect of reducing the incident of violent crimes, which affects the health of communities. Since 2004, it has grown increasingly evident that a culturally competent approach is necessary for building a healthy community. For example, the Sobrante Park community has evolved into a diverse, multicultural and multiracial neighborhood of African Americans, Latinos, European Americans and Pacific Islanders. These populations have distinct characteristics, including migration histories, language differences, income levels and family compositions. In addition to providing simultaneous translations at community meetings, using bilingual materials and holding multicultural celebrations that foster sharing of foods and cultural practices, an important strategy has emerged. In order to build trust among these racially and culturally divided groups, we have held several focused dialogues on cross-cultural experiences related to crime, safety and interpersonal relationships. These dialogues have surfaced difficult intercultural experiences that hindered trust and mutual participation in community-level health promotion activities. We have also created opportunities to engage these multicultural communities to address common crime and safety problems. Our 2010 survey indicates that these culturally competent strategies have raised community involvement and increased perceptions of safety, which are indicators of healthy communities.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1) Participants will be able to identify culturally competent public health strategies that build healthy multicultural communities, such as fostering social cohesion. 2) Participants will be able to discuss what multicultural communities face, such as opportunities and challenges in creating healthy conditions that affect their health.

Keywords: Community Building, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the Deputy Director of the Community Assessment, Planning and Education/Evaluation Unit, I am qualified to present because I oversee and co-develop the culturally competent interventions and program plan in the community described in the abstract.
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.