268939 Bridging the Divide: Integrating Obesity and Tobacco Advocacy to Multiply Impact in Low-income Communities

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 5:10 PM - 5:30 PM

Suzette Harris, MPH , Partnerships, Advocacy, and Communications, Public Health Consultant, Dallas, TX
Charline Whyte , Tobacco Prevention, Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL
Background:Advocacy efforts are underway across our nation to improve the built environment and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Funding may require high-impact jurisdiction-wide policy change with priority given to underserved populations. This can only be achieved with close collaborations and a strong strategic plan to achieve real outcomes. Methods:Our community worked across funding streams to join forces and coordinate efforts to ensure healthier environments are top priority for policymakers serving low-income communities. Investing time up front on our strategies to form effective alliances and determine priority cities for each campaign and then stepping back at every juncture to re-assess how to move forward proved more fruitful than working independently or in silos. Results:This presentation will (1) examine how our community selected priority cities based on health disparities; (2)compare results of situations when we did and did not coordinate; and (3) discuss recommendations for other communities to improve their public health strategies.Conclusions: Our community learned that cross-strategy collaboration must occur from the grassroots advocates to policymakers to mass media campaigns. Advocates of clean air and complete streets can come together under one umbrella to improve the health of our community and address social determinants of health.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss new strategies for increasing access to healthy options across all communities. Compare options for their community based on community needs and assets.

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the program manager of the multi-million CPPW Obesity Prevention Award in our county and coordinate with our Tobacco Team.
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.