Georgia State University proposes to address its mission of promoting health in urban Atlanta by taking the leadership in undertaking a long-range community-based participatory research (CBPR) initiative aimed at reducing the health disparities and the associated social, economic and environmental determinants experienced by the residents of Neighborhood Planning Unit V (NPU-V). NPU-V consists of 15,800 residents in 5 contiguous neighborhoods in urban Atlanta. Evidence of the disparities already exists based on data gathered and reported by the residents of NPU-V in 2004. Georgia State's partners include the leadership and residents of NPU-V, Center for Black Women's Wellness (located in the area), Southside Medical Center (located in the area), Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, and Atlanta Regional Health Forum. This Research will be directed through the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State, which is a multi-disciplinary research and training institute working with all six colleges of the university and reporting directly to the provost.
The specific aims for this research effort are to: ? * Engage community residents through community health forums designed to (1) strengthen community involvement and participation, (2) publicly assess relevant health related information including existing social, economic, demographic and health data, graphic depictions from Photovoice, and documented concerns expressed by community residents, (3) based on partnership consensus, identity, prioritize, and select for intervention the specific health disparities (and their relevant determinants), and (4) collectively develop a comprehensive intervention strategy designed to migrate the health disparities identified. ? * Train residents of NPU-V as community health workers (CHWs) in a range of community health promotion skills, including Photovoice, which will be used to complement existing community specific data gathered by residents. ? * Establish and implement a system to enable the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the intervention strategy and the overall CBPR process. A critical additional assessment feature will include the measurement of extant levels of organizational social capital throughout the project to detect the effects of planned efforts to strengthen social capital. ? * In parallel with the specific proximal health disparity intervention, undertake and document a longer range strategy to address distal social and economic issues, wherein community residents assume the leadership for proposing specific actions to promote specific actions to promote community transformation. Based on community input these might include: (1) enhancing employment opportunities, (2) improving housing through neighborhood renewal without tax increases on current residents, and (3) promoting economic developments. ? ?