The University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene (UH) will implement a project that will build a structure for community based participatory research (CBPR) across the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) (American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, &Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). The overall aim is to improve health conditions, reduce health disparities and assure the provision of primary health care, health education, health promotion, and disease prevention services for children in the region. Using a "train-the trainer" type approach, this proposal seeks to strengthen the collaborative partnership between UH and the University of Guam Department of Nursing (UOG) (as the initial trainers) and selected American Pacific Nursing Leadership Council (APNLC) jurisdictions from within the USAPI -as the community-based participants - to implement a sustainable system for ongoing CBPR in the region in order to foster sustainable mechanisms to address community-health disparities. UH and UOG will function as Academic Partners. UH/UOG will work as a team to develop, support and mentor nurse leader members of the APNLC, who in turn, will serve as CBPR nurse leaders (CBPR NL) in their respective jurisdictions. Communication and partnering will occur through a series of meetings, workshops and community forums. The CBPR process will be used to organize and form a regional and local advisory boards;collect data to identify key pediatric healthcare issues of concern for the community, and develop grant(s) to support ongoing CBPR activities. Key areas of CBPR focus will likely include: infant mortality, obesity other nutritional disorders;and techniques for outreach and information dissemination. Both in-person and distance-based technologies (e.g., web-based conferencing systems such as Elluminate or Skype, and PEACESAT videoconferencing) will be utilized for regional collaboration and communication;and because of the strong oral tradition of the USAPI region, on the local jurisdictional level, communication will be conducted primarily in person through meetings, community forums and local telephone conferences. Relevance: The USAPI are the gateway to the Pacific and Asia for the US, and are strategically important in terms of military, health and commerce affairs. Serious health disparities for children are in the USAPI, and these citizens have the right to travel to the US without visas to maintain "habitual residence" and to pursue health care, education and employment. What occurs in the USAPI affects the mainland US. Building capacity for CBPR health initiatives will serve to mitigate existing health disparities, and prevent larger problems.
The UH SONDH will collaborate with the American Pacific Nursing Leadership Council to implement a project with the overall aim of developing capacity for community based participatory research in the USAPI. The project work will be accomplished through training programs &meetings to be conducted in the USAPI jurisdictions, and culminate in a CBPR grant proposal for the USAPI.