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Developing and implementing a Community Empowerment Center to build local capacity for community-level change
Monday, November 17, 2014
BACKGROUND: Health disparities research is increasingly influenced by two paradigms: community-based participatory research (CBPR) and social determinants of health (SDOH). CBPR calls for collaborative research relationships that empower communities to co-generate research programs while SDOH perspectives focus on macro-level, “upstream” factors influencing health. The purpose of this study was to utilize a CBPR approach to address SDOH among residents of a public-housing community and adjacent neighborhood in Columbia, SC. METHODS: A mini-grant program was developed to encourage community members to develop community-level, community-engaged interventions focused on creating a healthier environment. A six-session training program guided community members in proposal development, with 25 individuals attending at least one session. RESULTS: Six proposals were submitted for external peer-review. Proposals were scored according to the degree of widespread community benefit, effective community engagement, and feasibility of implementation within a 6-month timeframe. Submitted proposals focused on food security (n=2), exercise (n=1), computer literacy (n=2), and community advocacy (n=2). The three awarded interventions focused on food security, exercise, and community advocacy. Each awardee team received $12,000 for implementation over six months. Additionally, a community garden was implemented in the community. The four interventions were evaluated collectively using a quasi-experimental design to assess their ability to increase community participation among residents. CONCLUSIONS: Community-generated, community-level, and community-engaged interventions provide community members with opportunities to address neighborhood concerns within a locale-specific context. The findings provide guidance for engaging community members in the development of community level interventions.
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Identify key components of a community capacity-building process implemented in a public housing community and adjacent low-income neighborhood.
Discuss lessons learned and implications for future academic-community partnerships.
Keyword(s): Community-Based Research (CBPR), Social Work
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as the Director of the Community Empowerment Center and was involved with every aspect of the intervention's implementation. I also assisted in the development of several intervention components.
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.