The Urban Context: A Place to Eliminate Health Disparities and Build Organizational Capacity
Gilbert, Keon L.
Quinn, Sandra Crouse
Ford, Angela F.
Thomas, Stephen B.
Gilbert, Keon L. and Quinn, Sandra Crouse and Ford, Angela F. and Thomas, Stephen B. (2010) The Urban Context: A Place to Eliminate Health Disparities and Build Organizational Capacity. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 39 (1). pp. 77-92.
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This study seeks to examine the process of building the capacity to address health disparities in several urban African American neighborhoods. An inter-organizational network consisting of a research university, community members, community organizations, media partners, and foundations was formed to develop a community-based intervention designed to provide health promotion and disease prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In-depth qualitative interviews (n = 18) with foundation executives and project directors, civic organization leadership, community leaders, county epidemiologist, and university partners were conducted. Our study contextualizes a process to build a public health partnership using cultural, community, organizational, and societal factors necessary to address health disparities. Results showed 5 important factors to build organizational capacity: leadership, institutional commitment, trust, credibility, and inter-organizational networks. These factors reflected other important organizational and community capacity indicators such as: community context, organizational policies, practices and structures, and the establishment of new commitments and partnerships important to comprehensively address urban health disparities. Understanding these factors to address African American health disparities will provide lessons learned for health educators, researchers, practitioners, foundations, and communities interested in building and sustaining capacity efforts through the design, implementation, and maintenance of a community-based health promotion intervention