Online Program

What we leave behind: Factors influencing community institutionalization of public health projects

Monday, November 2, 2015

Angela Alaniz, BA, Center for Community Health Development, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Kenneth McLeroy, PhD, Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M School of Public Health, College Station, TX
Whitney Garney, PhD, MPH, Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
In 2003, a Prevention Research Center (PRC) at an academic health science center secured a three-year Health Services and Resources Administration grant to support the development of infrastructure to extend access to care into four rural communities.  This effort was in response to a regional assessment conducted in the east Central Texas region known as the Brazos Valley consisting of a small urban hub and six surrounding rural counties. Assessment findings highlighted the limited availability to services and barriers, (e.g. lack of public transportation) to accessing care in the centrally located hub.  The PRC worked with local communities willing to leverage local financial and in-kind resources to guide the establishment of health resource centers. Five centers were established, giving regional providers a facility to offer ancillary health and supportive services on an itinerant basis where these services previously did not exist. Designed by local stakeholders, each center was customized to address unique community needs within local context and evolve as community needs shift. Twelve years later, all five centers continue to exist as each community forged local and external partnerships for sustainability. Subsequently, the centers have become embedded in local government and health care organizations as evidenced in local policy and funding priorities.

This presentation will highlight factors associated with the sustainability of these five centers in diverse rural communities that are of particular importance are: 1.) broad community support; 2.) diverse funding streams; 3.) broad community stakeholders; 4.) leveraging of funding; 5.) longevity of each center.  

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe a 12 year public health project aimed at increasing access to care in rural areas. Present sustainability and institutionalization factors related to the project. List key factors of public health projects' institutionalization in communities.

Keyword(s): Community Development, Sustainability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this project and I wrote this abstract.
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.