142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Beyond political divide: A unified vision to develop strategies and policies for a comprehensive community wellbeing plan

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Patricia M. Juárez-Carrillo, PhD, MPH , Center for Inter-American and Border Studies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Marcelo Korc, PhD, MPH , Sustainable Development and Environmental Health, Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization, Washington, DC, DC
Madeleine Praino, BA , Village of Vinton, Texas, Village of Vinton, TX
Jessica Garza, MBA , Village of Vinton, Village of Vinton, TX
William L Hargrove, Ph.D. , Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM), University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
A semi-rural community located in the U.S.-Mexico border confronted a divided local political will and lack of public participation as a result of disbelief and mistrust over the decision to upgrade water and sanitation infrastructure. Other needs and vulnerabilities emerged during such discussions bringing attention from decision makers, residents, and academics. As a result, this empowered community decided to address other critical community needs and vulnerabilities beyond water and sanitation. Human security aims to “protect the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment” (Commission on Human Security, UN). This approach is suitable to address the complexities and interconnectedness of social factors with a wide range of opportunities and resources. This community applied the concepts of such comprehensive vision of human securities to this border context.

Participatory processes helped identify the needs, vulnerabilities, and capacities, and define strategies and indicators according to seven dimensions: health, environment, food, economic, personal, community, and political securities.  Information was collected through reiterative processes to define, prioritize, validate, and design the “Village of Vinton Wellbeing Strategic Plan.” Additionally, the creation of a “Strategic Planning Commission” ensures representation, sustainability, and the opportunity to revise and enhance the plan with future emergent issues.

The application of this methodology closed the gap between decision makers and residents, enhanced the understanding of social determinants and overall wellbeing, and demonstrated the resilience of this semi-rural border community to strive amidst complex challenges such as immigration, unemployment, cultural beliefs, and insufficient political will.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the dimensions and examples of indicators of the human security approach adapted to a semi-rural border community. Explain the steps and methods to identify needs, vulnerabilities, capacities, and strategies for a community wellbeing plan.

Keyword(s): Sustainability, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive experience in community based interventions and research, focused on environmental health, community participation, social determinants for Hispanic and minority populations.
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.