The purpose of this project is to establish a partnership, related to maternal and child health, between the University of Pittsburgh and local community organizations to: (1) establish an Advisory Board consisting of both University researchers and community organizations;(2) provide health information to community members about issues that affect African Americans;(3) to get a better understanding of what community members believe are the most important health issues for research investigators to study;(4) to develop a formal agreement (Memorandum of Understanding/ MOU) with University faculty members who have previous experience in conducting Community-based Participatory Research with local community organizations so that we can learn from them;and (5) to develop a MOU with at least one local community organization interested in partnering with the University to conduct a Community- Based Participatory Research (CBPR) project related to maternal and child health. As a research team, we are most interested in maternal and child health issues such as intimate partner violence during pregnancy and postpartum;the impact of intimate partner violence on women's reproductive health and pregnancy outcome;and intimate partner violence associated with unintended pregnancy. However, we are also very interested in hearing what community members believe are the important issues in this area as well as what other health issues they believe should be priorities for research investigation. What further strengthens this project, in addition to the partnership with community organizations, is that it builds on years of community engagement by the Center for Minority Health and a strong relationship between the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD).
Issues related to prematurity and its associated complications of persisting physical or mental, cognitive disabilities for some children (subsequently adults) remain a national focus. Women who experience interpersonal partner violence are more likely to begin their care late or describe their pregnancy as unwanted or unplanned;and a woman with an unwanted pregnancy is less likely to look after herself or attend regular prenatal appointments. This project will address pregnancy and violence through Community Based Participatory Research.