The Community Outreach Core will build upon robust partnerships with a broad and diverse array of community-based organizations to enhance community capacity to reduce women's health disparities in North Texas. Three outreach and prevention initiatives are proposed: (1) the HIV Outreach and Prevention Initiative, in partnership with La Sima Foundation and the Dallas Family Access Network's Youth Angle, will provide HIV prevention/risk reduction education, interpersonal communication skills-building, and referrals to relevant medical and social services for high-risk young women;(2) the Obesity Outreach and Prevention Initiative, in partnership with the Greater Dallas Area Coalition to Reduce Childhood Obesity, will develop a strategic alliance with a number of underserved communities to build capacity among mothers to reduce the obesity disparities in their neighborhoods;and (3) the Breast Cancer Outreach and Prevention Intitiative, in collaboration with the Dallas Cancer Disparities Coalition, will build a sister coalition in Tarrant County to enhance community infrastructure to reduce breast cancer disparities. These initiatives, led by community partners, are coordinated with the respective Center research proejcts and are focused on enhancing knowledge and attitudes to improve prevention, equip the community and build trust. The Core will be led by Kathryn Cardarelli, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Community Health, and co-directed by Dawn J. Dickerson-Sankofa, Health Equity Coordinator for Tarrant County Public Health. These two women, who have a history of collaboration and guiding others in building community-academic partnerships, will together assure that all activities are responsive to community priorities and reflect true partnership. An important long-term goal for the Community Outreach Core is to create sustainable prevention models that can be replicated in similar communities to reduce health disparities. Although the proposed outreach and prevention initiatives are focused on HIV, obesity, and breast cancer in women, we believe that the projects are adaptable and incorporate components to promote reduction of other health disparities in low-income, racial and ethnic minority communities.
The Community Outreach Core will leverage existing and create new relationships and communication lines with a broad and diverse array of academic institutions, community organizations, health professionals, and advocacy groups to engage in culturally-appropriate outreach activities aimed at reducing local women's health disparities.
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