Online Program

Partners in health: Improving water resources in rural Nicaragua

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Amy C. Cory, PhD, RN, CPNP, College of Nursing, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Claire Simonpietri, BSN Student, College of Nursing, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Ellen Guisfredi, Civil Engineering Student, College of Engineering, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Michael Hagenberger, PhD, PE, College of Engineering, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Background: Health inequities exist in rural Nicaragua. The purpose of this academic-community partnership is to improve health equity in rural Nicaragua through social transformation using community-based participatory action research. Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of human development, school health, and primary health care theories provided the framework for this research.

Methods: Community-based participatory action research involves six phases: partnership, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination. In the partnership phase, the goal was to develop a public health nursing and engineering academic research team and to strengthen an established partnership between academic researchers and community partners through community-based participatory action research. Researchers engaged established community partners in capacity building, developed new partners in the community, and completed six key informant interviews with new and established community partners. An assessment tool adapted from Engineers without Borders guided face-to-face, key informant interviews.

Results: Using the ecological framework, established community partners recruited community health leaders and water committee members to join the team. Both the established team members and new partners participated in key informant interviews. The key informant interviews revealed the need for improved water supply to one sector of the community as well as the need for potable water in the community at large.

Conclusions: Results from the partnership phase will be used to guide a comprehensive community health assessment related to the need for a sustainable, potable water supply. Partnership in community health research provides a mechanism to engage community members in social justice by working toward a common goal—health for all.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the formation of interdisciplinary academic and community partnerships in the provision of health outcomes research; Describe the process of community-based participatory action research; Explain the partnership phase of community-based participatory action research; Define the benefits on academic-community partnerships.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with Engineers Without Borders for two years on the Health and Safety Committee. I have been engaged in community health assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation in Tanzania and am beginning the process in rural Nicaragua. I work closely with my public health nursing advisor who is an expert in community-based participatory action research in rural Nicaragua.
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.