264680 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) partner to improve the health of public housing residents

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Jovonni R. Spinner, MPH , National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Len Clay, MCP , Officer of Public Housing Investments, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC
Edward Donnell Ivy, MD/MPH , Division for the Application of Research Discoveries, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH, Bethesda, MD
According to a New England Journal of Medicine special report, public housing residents suffer disproportionately from health disparities related to environmental factors. (Ludwig, NEJM, Oct.2011) HUD and NHLBI established a partnership to train housing authority staff and residents from communities receiving HOPE VI grant funding on NHLBI's “With Every Heartbeat is Life” Community Health Worker curriculum. This 12-session curriculum trains public housing residents to address cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors through education sessions, healthy eating tips and physical activities. Program participants were encouraged to address issues in the built environment that inhibit residents from living healthy. Program implementation was justified based on the idea that resident-directed behavior modification strategies are a prerequisite to healthy communities. The 2 ˝ day training included instruction on the curriculum along with information regarding program implementation and sustainability. Post training, participants received technical assistance from HUD and NHLBI. To monitor program implementation, sites were requested to attend monthly conference calls and webinars, submit quarterly progress reports and attend annual training meetings. The education sessions were well received by public housing residents, and the program has been a transformative presence within distressed urban and marginalized communities. These housing authorities have established ongoing education classes using the curriculum and incorporated other activities, such as walking clubs and community gardens into their programs. Given the success of the program, HUD and NHLBI have continued to expand and grow the partnership. HUD is currently exploring expansion of the program into Choice Neighborhood grants and other funding opportunities.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify environmental factors in public housing communities that contribute to health disparities. 2. Explain the role of Community Health Workers in housing communities. 3. Describe three evaluation tools that were used to track the progress of housing authorities in implementing the program. 4. List at least two challenges or barriers experienced by housing authorities in implementing the program.

Keywords: Public Housing, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I manage the community health worker initiative that aim to prevent cardiovascular disease in minority communities. I oversaw the evaluation of the project and serve as the lead for this partnership effort.
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.