142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Developing and implementing a Community Empowerment Center to build local capacity for community-level change

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Stacy W. Smallwood, PhD, MPH , Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Ronald Pitner, PhD , College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Darcy Freedman, MPH, PhD , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Patricia A. Sharpe, PhD, MPH , Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Jennie Ann Cole, MA , College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Shanna Hastie, LMSW , University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
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.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
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.