Beyond the cathedral: building trust to engage the African American community in health promotion and disease prevention.
ABSTRACT Effective efforts to eliminate health disparities must be grounded in strong community partnerships and trusting relationships between academic institutions and minority communities. However, there are often barriers to such efforts, including the frequent need to rely on time-limited funding mechanisms that take categorical approaches. This article provides an overview of health promotion and disease prevention projects implemented through the Community Outreach and Information Dissemination Core (COID) of the Center for Minority Health, within the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. The COID is one of five Cores that comprised the University of Pittsburgh's NIH Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, and Research on Disparities in Health and Training (EXPORT Health) funded from 2002 to 2007 by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Based in large part on the success of the community engagement activities, in 2007, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, designated the CMH as a Research Center of Excellence on Minority Health Disparities. COID major initiatives included the Community Research Advisory Board, Health Disparity Working Groups, Health Advocates in Reach, Healthy Class of 2010, and the Healthy Black Family Project. Lessons learned may provide guidance to other academic institutions, community-based organizations, and health departments who seek to engage minority communities in changing social norms to support health promotion and disease prevention.
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ABSTRACT: Few studies examine the use of family history to influence risk perceptions in the African American population. This study examined the influence of a family health history (FHH) intervention on risk perceptions for breast (BRCA), colon (CRC), and prostate cancers (PRCA) among African Americans in Pittsburgh, PA. Participants (n = 665) completed pre- and post-surveys and FHHs. We compared their objective and perceived risks, classified as average, moderate, or high, and examined the accuracy of risk perceptions before and after the FHH intervention. The majority of participants had accurate risk perceptions post-FHH. Of those participants who were inaccurate pre-FHH, 43.3%, 43.8%, and 34.5% for BRCA, CRC, and PRCA, respectively, adopted accurate risk perceptions post-FHH intervention. The intervention was successful in a community setting. It has the potential to lead to healthy behavior modifications because participants adopted accurate risk perceptions. We identified a substantial number of at-risk individuals who could benefit from targeted prevention strategies, thus decreasing racial/ethnic cancer disparities.Journal of Genetic Counseling 07/2011; 20(6):639-49. DOI:10.1007/s10897-011-9389-2 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study seeks to examine the process of building the capacity to address health disparities in several urban African American neighborhoods. An inter-organizational network consisting of a research university, community members, community organizations, media partners, and foundations was formed to develop a community-based intervention designed to provide health promotion and disease prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In-depth qualitative interviews (n = 18) with foundation executives and project directors, civic organization leadership, community leaders, county epidemiologist, and university partners were conducted. Our study contextualizes a process to build a public health partnership using cultural, community, organizational, and societal factors necessary to address health disparities. Results showed 5 important factors to build organizational capacity: leadership, institutional commitment, trust, credibility, and inter-organizational networks. These factors reflected other important organizational and community capacity indicators such as: community context, organizational policies, practices and structures, and the establishment of new commitments and partnerships important to comprehensively address urban health disparities. Understanding these factors to address African American health disparities will provide lessons learned for health educators, researchers, practitioners, foundations, and communities interested in building and sustaining capacity efforts through the design, implementation, and maintenance of a community-based health promotion intervention.Journal of Prevention & Intervention Community 01/2011; 39(1):77-92. DOI:10.1080/10852352.2011.530168
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ABSTRACT: Background The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program has raised the profile and the available funding for engagement in biomedical research. Such increased funding and attention may address known barriers to engagement. However, little work has been done to describe experiences across multiple CTSAs, especially how the CTSA structure supports or challenges engagement.Objective We sought to understand the supports and challenges experienced by multiple CTSAs as they pursued community engagement. This knowledge may help guide future efforts to support and enhance community engagement in biomedical research.Methods We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with CTSA community engagement core leaders and staff from the 2006 cohort of CTSAs (n = 12).ResultsA total of 17 interviews with respondents from nine institutions identified three support themes, including: funding, existing relationships with communities, and leadership and a partnership approach at the institution. Six challenge themes arose: need for capacity development, lack of positive relationships with communities, lack of leadership, funding constraints, time and staff constraints, and unsustainable models.Conclusion The CTSAs have brought much-needed attention to community engagement in research, but more can be done to adequately support engagement. Challenges remain that need to be addressed to achieve the potential benefits of engagement. Clin Trans Sci 2014; Volume #: 1–7Clinical and Translational Science 09/2014; 8(2). DOI:10.1111/cts.12205 · 2.11 Impact Factor