Journal of Community Health, 2011, Vol.36(4), pp.669-674
To describe the participatory approach used to develop “Good For The Neighborhood” (GFTN), a community program to improve the health of four underserved communities. A core program was developed involving a “park and stay” approach to impact four underserved predominately minority communities (two predominately African American, 1 predominately Latino, and the Seneca Nation of Indians). The core program includes health screenings, risk assessments, health education, and exposure to health services. An extensive tracking and evaluation system was developed to determine participation and impact on the community. Multi-methods (key informant interviews, focus groups, surveys) were implemented to gain feedback from community partners and participants as to how to adopt the program to meet the needs of the community. GFTN has been sustained for over 3 years and has reached over 3,500 predominately minority individuals in four communities with 1/3 of participants engaging regularly in the program. The program has evolved in the four communities to meet specific needs. A “park and stay” approach in partnership with the community has led to a strong program that community partners and residents embrace. Community ownership and social networking, including word-of-mouth from residents is essential to establishing a successful program.
Community health ; Health disparities ; Evaluation ; Community based participatory research ; Minorities
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