Empowering Women in Underserved Communities: Using CBPR Approaches to Improve Health Literacy and Community Capacity
Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)
Civic and Community Engagement
Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Public Health Education and Promotion
Translational Medical Research
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AbstractModerator: Elena Carbone, DrPH RD, LDN, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, UMass Amherst Presenters: Jennifer Manganello, MPH, PhD Janine M. Jurkowski, MPH, PhD Elena T. Carbone, DrPH, RD, LDN Session Description Promoting health literacy empowers individuals and communities to better navigate the health care system and health information environment, and allows for informed decision making for choices and actions that affect health. Empowerment Theory and health literacy are inherent in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) with low-income and disadvantaged populations. In order for representatives to be engaged as equal participants in the research process, research and health capacity building need to occur. This breakout session will be presented in three parts. The first presentation will provide an overview and introduce how Empowerment Theory and health literacy can be used to build the capacity of community representatives and patient stakeholders. The other two presentations will highlight CBPR research projects currently underway or planned. What is Health Literacy? Presenter: Jennifer Manganello Health literacy refers to a person’s ability to obtain and understand health information and navigate the health system, as well as the health care environment itself. Definitions of health literacy will be discussed, along with how health literacy is relevant at each of the levels of the socio-ecological model (i.e., individual vs. community). We will provide a brief overview about health literacy research conducted in community and clinical settings. This presentation will also discuss how health literacy is related to empowerment. Communities for Health Living (CHL): A CBPR Childhood Obesity Prevention Intervention Guided by Empowerment Theory Presenter: Janine M. Jurkowski CHL is an intervention research project that uses a parent-centered community-based participatory research (CBPR) in an RCT scale up of a childhood obesity prevention intervention guided by Empowerment Theory. CHL recognizes parents as family experts, engages them as co-researchers and embeds the resulting empowerment-focused intervention into Head Start, a national system of care reaching over one million low-income families. Building on a successful pilot assessment CHL researchers are collaborating with Boston/Somerville/Cambridge Head Start serving over 2000 children to expand the CBPR approach by engaging parents, community representatives and Head Start staff to adapt CHL to a new, more diverse setting. CHL is rigorously testing its efficacy to prevent obesity in children. To ensure the timely translation of this work this study is a practical behavioral trial that maintains a rigorous assessment of program efficacy. Primary innovations of this study are its explicit incorporation of Empowerment Theory into its participatory approach and intervention, which deviates from the traditional model of nutrition education to address broader family realities. Mpower: Empowering Mothers for Health Presenter: Elena T. Carbone This project responds to the WUN Shanghai Declaration and the United Nations General Assembly call to promote health literacy in parents and empower women as a global strategy to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Because many NCDs originate in early development and from health disparities, the maternal health literacy of women in poverty is especially vital. Maternal health literacy refers to the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of mothers to gain access to, understand, and use information in ways that promote and maintain their health and that of their children. Despite its importance, preliminary results of two scoping reviews indicate that few studies have examined maternal health literacy; fewer still have focused on skill development or empowerment of women in poverty. This project is designed to develop a long-term and sustainable research plan to fill these gaps and is part of a five-stage approach to develop a universal research strategy to promote health literacy in parents and empower women globally. Moreover, this project introduces an innovative community-based participatory method to the field of health literacy; and focuses on critical health literacy skills, empowerment, and health literacy for health protection and promotion -- all of which have been largely ignored.
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Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Food Insecurity Campaign: Building Partnerships within Communities to Address Social Determinants of Health and Promote Health EquityCarpenter, Elise; Nohria, Raman; Meyers, Shannon (2018-03-09)Breakout Session 2B: Background Social determinants of health contribute more to our general quality and length of life than the medical care we provide in our communities. To address these needs, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center has recently launched a food insecurity campaign to reduce barriers and access to food for residents of Lawrence. Our initial pilot data suggests that up to 2/3 of our patients are food insecure. To help address this problem we have partnered with the Greater Boston Food Bank to provide free monthly access to fruits and vegetables and assistance with obtaining governmental support. Recognizing the significant impact food insecurity has on the community, we have also started to engage in community partnerships, particularly with the Mayor’s Health Task Force of Lawrence, Greater Boston Food Bank, and Groundworks Lawrence, to develop sustainable solutions to food insecurity. We also are working to develop an understanding of community needs through community members’ perspectives and experiences of food insecurity. Our goal during this session is to describe how the use of informant interviews and focus groups, community needs assessment resources and stakeholder relationships helps to promote a community-driven movement that can tackle health equity. Purpose To promote and discuss methods of community partnership and community-based participatory research in addressing health equity in communities and healthcare organizations To discuss methods and ideas for community engagement and partnership to address social determinants of health, particularly food insecurity.
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