253896 HOPE Accounts for Women; Creating Transformational Approaches to Reducing Health Disparities

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rachel Page , UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Loneke Blackman, MA, RD , Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Katherine Barnes , Tba, Tba, Tba
Introduction: HOPE Accounts for Women is an innovative intervention that addresses obesity among low-income African American and Native American women in North Carolina. Obesity and poor health exist within poverty, education, employment, and other determinants, which influence hope and empowerment to make life changes. Our proposal includes a long history of health promotion interventions with women in eastern NC and from direct community contribution. Methods: HOPE Accounts for Women uses community based participatory research that will eventually enroll 215 women for the intervention and 215 for the comparison group. In HOPE Accounts for Women, community women are trained to lead HOPE Accounts Circles of 8-12 low-income, overweight women. The circles meet twice a month for seven months. During the first month, Circles provide participants with financial training. Then, each participant opens an Individual Development Account (IDA), matched savings accounts for low-income individuals that are traditionally used for microenterprise, furthering education, or home ownership. Results: Currently in progress, HOPE Accounts has recruited 160+ women and is still in implementation stage. We would like to share our developed materials (training curriculum, website, personal journal) implementation, and recruitment practices. Conclusion: HOPE Circles provide social support, teach strategies for weight management, and address financial literacy and strategies for moving out of poverty. This unique approach addresses the foundation of poor health through wealth and provides a holistic response to a national epidemic of obesity. Findings from HOPE Accounts for Women will be used to motivate financial policies for rural minority North Carolinian women.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the link between health and wealth; have a holistic understanding of increased barriers between health and wealth among minority populations, especially among women. 2. Understand generational poverty and provide innovative participatory research approaches to addressing poverty and subsequent affects such as poor health, through a unique and culturally appropriate lay health worker model.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed the the research as outlined 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.