Leveraging Community-Academic Partnerships to Improve Healthy Food Access in an Urban, Kansas City, Kansas, Community

ArticleinProgress in community health partnerships: research, education, and action 6(3):279-88 · September 2012with13 Reads
DOI: 10.1353/cpr.2012.0046 · Source: PubMed
Americans can combat overweight (OW) and obesity by eating unprocessed, fresh foods. However, all Americans do not have equal access to these recommended foods. Low-income, minority, urban neighborhoods in particular often have limited access to healthy resources, although they are vulnerable to higher levels of OW and obesity. This project used community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles to investigate the food needs of residents and develop a business plan to improve access to healthy food options in an urban, Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood. Partner community organizations were mobilized to conduct a Community Food Assessment survey. The surveys were accompanied by flyers that were part of the communication engagement strategy. Statistical analysis of the surveys was conducted. We engaged low-income, minority population (40% Latino, 30% African American) urban communities at the household level. Survey results provided in-depth information about residents' food needs and thoughts on how to improve food access. Results were reported to community members at a town hall style meeting. Developing a strategic plan to engage a community and develop trust is crucial to sustaining a partnership particularly when working with underserved communities. This project demonstrates that, if well managed, the benefits of academic and community partnerships outweigh the challenges thus such relationships should be encouraged and supported by communities, academic institutions, local and national government, and funders. A CBPR approach to understanding an urban community's food needs and opinions is important for comprehensive food access planning.
    • "Key among these was the importance of creating a common agenda, where each partner examines the problem and identifies solutions through the same lens. Such a process will not be successful if done through coercive compromise (Butterfoss & Kegler, 2009; Israel et al., 2005; Mabachi & Kimminau, 2012). However, as PolicyLink President Judith Bell has suggested, for coalitions with a focus on advancing health and social equity, often through policy change, the need for the backbone organization to have a point of view is one of the elements . . . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As resources for health promotion become more constricted, it is increasingly important to collaborate across sectors, including the private sector. Although many excellent models for cross-sector collaboration have shown promise in the health field, collective impact (CI), an emerging model for creating larger scale change, has yet to receive much study. Complementing earlier collaboration approaches, CI has five core tenets: a shared agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and a central infrastructure. In this article, we describe the CI model and its key dimensions and constructs. We briefly compare CI to community coalition action theory and discuss our use of the latter to provide needed detail as we apply CI in a critical case study analysis of the Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition in San Francisco, California. Using Yin's multimethod approach, we illustrate how CI strategies, augmented by the community coalition action theory, are being used, and with what successes or challenges, to help affect community- and policy-level change to reduce tobacco and alcohol advertising and sales, while improving healthy, affordable, and sustainable food access. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of CI as a framework for health promotion, as well as the benefits, challenges, and initial outcomes of the healthy retail project and its opportunities for scale-up. Implications for health promotion practice and research also are discussed. © 2015 Society for Public Health Education.
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    • "Encouraging community engagement in formulating research agendas and promoting ownership of health solutions will be a key to improving obesity risk factors [44]. Community-based participatory research (C-BPR) approach is recommended in the field of obesity prevention444546, and others have found this to create the opportunity for partners to train together, build capacity, and increase cohesion, and develop relationships and trust [47]. "
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