Charlotte, NC is home to one of the nation's fastest growing Hispanic communities. As in other parts of the U.S., Hispanics here face significant health disparities in part because of lack of access to medical services. Charlotte's Hispanic community experiences disparities in the incidence of sexually transmitted infections;immunization rates;death from motor vehicle accidents and homicide;and obesity. Our community provides the ideal setting for designing and implementing interventions to minimize these health disparities using the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR). First, the principal investigator has founded a unique practice based research network that has created partnerships between researchers, community members, and health providers using ideals of CBPR. Second, this network brings together health services and social science researchers with a broad depth of research expertise in the use of CBPR, qualitative analysis, and geographic information systems (CIS). Third, Charlotte's rapidly growing Hispanic population provides a model community in which to develop and test interventions that can be translated to other transitioning communities. Fourth, our network includes the 3rd largest hospital system in the nation. This system has a shared clinical database for all hospitals and clinics that can be used to evaluate changes in overall community health and patterns of healthcare utilization. The long-term goal of this project is to leverage the resources within our network and community to eliminate Hispanic health disparities using principles of CBPR. This will be accomplished by: enhancing community partnerships;performing a needs assessment;identifying a disease to be addressed;and designing and implementing an intervention. The intervention will be evaluated by examining its impact on community health indicators, the changes that occur in patterns of healthcare utilization, and the overall cost effectiveness. The strength of the CBPR process itself will also be measured and used for process improvement.
The U.S. Hispanic immigrant population is growing rapidly and faces many health disparities. Charlotte, NC provides a model community to study the use of community-based participatory research to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions that can eliminate Hispanic health disparities. This study will measure the intervention's impact on community health, healthcare utilization, and overall medical costs.
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