Online Program

Establishing a volunteer Community Health Worker Advisory Board to partner in public health research and engage low income populations

Monday, November 2, 2015

Matthew Herman, MPH, CHES, PEDIATRICS, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
Kaethe P. Ferguson, EdD, MS, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Health & Research, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) partnered to create a Community Advisory Board (CAB) to determine how to best engage, serve and reduce health disparities of NRHA communities. The 10 member CAB was shaped from a diverse group of volunteers recruited through the NRHA Community Health Worker Program (CHW). Their main roles were to identify community priorities, needs, and interests; advocate on behalf of the community; and provide direction and leadership for assessing, planning and dissemination of health education. Two projects were completed under the direction of the joint partnership. CHWs served as smoking cessation advocates and counselors, by delivering a four week cessation curriculum and will continue to provide education to residents prior to implementation of a more restrictive NRHA smoking policy. A CHW-led community health and health behavior survey was completed. No prevalence data existed among 6,800 NRHA residents. Data was collected on 2,624 residents (39% response rate) which provided a snapshot of health in six communities. CHWs reported survey results at six community resident meetings. The CAB provided a collaborative mechanism for EVMS and NRHA to develop approaches to building communication, trust and capacity, thus enabling community residents to more actively participate in the research process and effectively engaging low income communities, with the goal of influencing change in community health. Implementing public health strategies in public housing communities may elevate residents’ health behaviors and improve quality-of-life. One CHW plans to attend and co-present on the project, CAB dynamics and partnership.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the effectiveness of establishing a volunteer Community Health Worker Advisory Board to partner in public health research and to more actively engage low income populations.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Research (CBPR), Low-Income

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed and coordinated multiple grants surrounding public health policy, systems and environmental changes in under-served populations. This includes a three year HUD-supported initiative on improving asthma in Norfolk public housing communities and an AAP CATCH Grant on Tobacco Cessation. Separately, I presented findings on community survey data collection, ‘Public Health in Public Housing, Survey of Health Conditions and Behaviors,’ at the National Healthy Homes Conference in Nashville, TN in May 2014.
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.