Event Title

Community-Based Participatory Research: How Developing Small Geography Health Indicators Can Assist Communities with Big Decisions

Location

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Start Date

10-4-2012 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: The Ottawa County Health Department (OCHD) and the Graduate Student Consulting Center (GSCC) at Grand Valley State University engaged in community-based participatory research to build community capacity toward addressing food insecurity. CHALLENGE: With nearly 20% of the Michigan population receiving food stamps coupled with increasing rates of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease, GSCC conducted an environmental scan for OCHD in support of a larger food security strategic planning initiative. EXPERIENCE: GSCC students employed Geographic Information Systems to map measureable health indicators at the census tract level. OUTCOME: The goal of the project is to provide stakeholders with the information required make appropriate investment decisions at the community level. Based on Healthy People 2020 indicators, the analysis and subsequent baseline measures are being used to monitor changes and to gain understanding of the extent to which community needs are being met relative to other areas of the state and nation. For example, GSCC mapped the proportion of the population with access to nutrient dense foods (Objective NWS-4) while also surveying emergency food providers (churches and nonprofits) about capacities to provide such staples as lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables to those seeking services. In addition, GSCC analyzed indicators associated with the social determinants of health, such as poverty, ethnicity, age, and income. IMPACT: GSCC participants are developing the practical skills and expertise required of future public health leaders to bridge the gap between research and community practice within Ottawa County to improve health while reducing food insecurity.

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Apr 10th, 3:30 PM

Community-Based Participatory Research: How Developing Small Geography Health Indicators Can Assist Communities with Big Decisions

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

PURPOSE: The Ottawa County Health Department (OCHD) and the Graduate Student Consulting Center (GSCC) at Grand Valley State University engaged in community-based participatory research to build community capacity toward addressing food insecurity. CHALLENGE: With nearly 20% of the Michigan population receiving food stamps coupled with increasing rates of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease, GSCC conducted an environmental scan for OCHD in support of a larger food security strategic planning initiative. EXPERIENCE: GSCC students employed Geographic Information Systems to map measureable health indicators at the census tract level. OUTCOME: The goal of the project is to provide stakeholders with the information required make appropriate investment decisions at the community level. Based on Healthy People 2020 indicators, the analysis and subsequent baseline measures are being used to monitor changes and to gain understanding of the extent to which community needs are being met relative to other areas of the state and nation. For example, GSCC mapped the proportion of the population with access to nutrient dense foods (Objective NWS-4) while also surveying emergency food providers (churches and nonprofits) about capacities to provide such staples as lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables to those seeking services. In addition, GSCC analyzed indicators associated with the social determinants of health, such as poverty, ethnicity, age, and income. IMPACT: GSCC participants are developing the practical skills and expertise required of future public health leaders to bridge the gap between research and community practice within Ottawa County to improve health while reducing food insecurity.