Online Program

Community Readiness Model: Addressing Black Infant Mortality Disparity in Columbus, Ohio

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wengora Thompson, MPH, School of Public Health Initiative, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Melissa Thomas, PhD, MSPH, MSA, MCHES, CN-BP, C.CHW, Office of Health Equity, OhioHealth Research & Innovation Institute, Columbus, OH
Haley Riegel, MPH, CHES, Office of Health Equity, OhioHealth Research & Innovation Institute, Columbus, OH
LaKeesha Leonard, MS, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
In comparison to other wealthy countries, the United States ranks near the bottom for infant mortality.  Ohio’s black infant mortality rates are the second worst in the country.  In 2012, Franklin county black infants died at more than twice the rate of white infants, 12.9 and 6.0, respectively. Assessing a community’s readiness to address the issues of infant mortality is a critical factor in implementing effective interventions to address health disparities but has not been assessed within Ohio’s urban area.  The Community Readiness Model (CRM), a theoretical basis for understanding and increasing community readiness, was implemented to measure community attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge regarding black infant mortality within Columbus.

     Semi-structured key informant interviews with community leaders from in five “hot spot” areas with the highest black infant mortality rates in Franklin County.  The interview primarily consisted of open-ended questions within the following five dimensions: community knowledge of the issue, community knowledge of efforts, community climate, leadership, and resources. The interviews were transcribed, and a mixed-method approach was employed using a quantitative scoring process of the CRM and a thematic analysis of key words. 

     Findings of the Community Readiness assessment validated our study hypothesis about the lack of robust awareness about the issues of black infant mortality amongst community members and leadership.  Results from the study helped guide stage-appropriate strategies provided in the CRM. Recommendations to engage the community included unconventional partnerships, target media campaigns, faith community involvement, planned interventions addressing the social determinants of health and engagement of community leaders.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the utilization of the Community Readiness Model as it pertains to infant mortality interventions. Identify the 5 dimensions assessed to determine a community's stage of readiness for an intervention.

Keyword(s): Infant Mortality, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a graduate student at the Ohio State University’s College of Public Health, I have experienced many opportunities that have informed me about Maternal and Child Health (MCH) issues. For the past 2 years, I have interned for the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) interim MCH Bureau Chief. Through participating in a myriad of activities at ODH, I have learned that community engagement is critical in working with populations impacted by disparities in health.
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.