261389 A Paradigm Shift in MCH: Alameda County's Building Blocks for Health Equity Initiative

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Bina Shrimali, MPH , Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
Jessica Luginbuhl, MPH , Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
Background: To change social and economic inequities that affect MCH populations, public health departments must build internal capacity and work with community partners from multiple sectors. Methods: The Alameda County Public Health Department's (ACPHD) Building Blocks for Health Equity Initiative (BB4HE) increases community and health department capacity to advance health and social equity by mobilizing partnerships, incubating projects, and redesigning services--all toward the vision that all children in Alameda County have the best start in life. BB4HE launched its Building Blocks Collaborative (BBC) in 2009 to engage partners in improving social conditions for children born in Alameda County. BBC members are from diverse arenas, including local economic development agencies, food access projects, city and county government, community clinics, housing, and parks. ACPHD used local data and Life Course theory to unite BBC members and help each member see its role in transforming communities so that children can thrive. Concurrently, ACPHD staff engaged in capacity building to further the integration of Life Course theory into ACPHD's work. Results: BBC has developed and adopted a shared vision, planned collaborative projects, and spread the word locally and nationally to influence systems change. ACPHD and BBC partners have launched projects that address social determinants among MCH populations, including “Food to Families” and the “Prosperity Project” funded by the Kresge and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations. Conclusions: Internal capacity-building and new community partnerships have laid the foundation for long-standing MCH systems change efforts in Alameda County.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the opportunity to engage across sectors to address health and social inequities that impact MCH populations. 2. Explain strategies for building trust, transparency, and shared ownership in broad-based community collaboratives. 3. Discuss concrete projects that build on innovative partnerships, build local health department capacity, and incrementally advance health and social equity through a Life Course Perspective.

Keywords: Social Inequalities, Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on the Building Blocks for Health Equity Initiative since its inception. In this capacity I have built momentum, identified funding, supported department leadership and various partners committed to improving the health and well-being of infants born in poverty; coordinated the Building Blocks Collaborative, a partnership of local cross-sector partners; researched best practices and models, including the Life Course Perspective, and worked in collaboration to apply it in Alameda County.
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.