The Community Outreach Core
The Community Outreach Core
African Americans and Latinos are less likely than whites to obtain important health information from health care providers or community resources. Similarly, these populations are less likely to receive evidence-based health care or to participate in research than are white Americans. Because of this, little information is available to guide health promotion efforts and appropriate provision of care for these populations.
The Community Core seeks to address these disparities through developing and evaluating innovative strategies for disseminating state-of-the-art health information to community residents, such as through lay health workers or promotoras. The Core aims to develop stable, mutually beneficial relationships with community-serving agencies. These relationships will form the basis of trust necessary to recruit and retain community members in research. This research will be guided by community participatory principals and will grow directly out of identified health needs and goals of the community. In addition, health care information will be disseminated using principles of the collaborative care model to providers of health care for the community, and provide mentoring opportunities, tied to community participatory experiences, to enhance the likelihood of producing researchers eager to develop high quality health disparities research. The Community Core has also partnered with a number of community agencies to facilitate studies within the entire Project EXPORT.
Specific Aim 1: To disseminate culturally sensitive, relevant health information to low-income African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles.
Specific Aim 2: To disseminate evidence-based health care information to providers in health care settings that serve low-income African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles.
Specific Aim 3: To partner with communities in collaborative research relationships which form the basis of trust necessary to engage community members in research.
Specific Aim 4: To provide mentoring to minority junior faculty in community-based, participatory research.
Recent Community Outreach Core Highlights
- Recently published details regarding the process and the preliminary work of our primary academic-community partnership project aimed at developing strategies to improve community research infrastructure. (E&D Volume 16, Number 1 Supplement 1: The Community Health Improvement Collaborative: Building Community-Academic Partnerships to Reduce Disparities).
- Witness for Wellness: The Witness for Wellness Project, a partnership between Healthy African American Families, Charles Drew University, the UCLA Health Services Research Center, and RAND, focuses on depression. The Building Wellness Pilot project tests the feasibility of an Internet-based toolkit for depression screening, education, and referral in social service agencies. One major step in improving outcomes for persons with mild to moderate depression involves getting people to treatment through referrals. Mild to moderate depression often goes undiagnosed, especially in underrepresented minority populations. This pilot project is the product of a community-academic partnered team that created a web-based toolkit for use in social service agencies. The goal of the project was to provide an accessible toolkit for use in social service agencies and to evaluate the feasibility of its implementation.
- The Community Advisory Board has become a highly integral part of Project EXPORT activities. They have participated actively in meetings providing feedback to junior faculty members regarding papers emerging from their projects, and participated formally in the review and selection of pilot grants, including identification of potential community mentors. The Board attended the Office of Minority Health Disparities Conference in January 2006 and their insights and perspectives were brought back to the Academic arm of our team. These innovative activities truly embrace the spirit of partnership, a core value of Project EXPORT.