Friday, March 13, 2015

Community Engaged Infection Control: Ebola

In an article recently published with collaborators from Africa, we outline ways the global response to infectious diseases must include community members as engaged experts.  The article appears in the journal Health Promotion International.  A blog post at Oxford University Press outlines our proposal.  In short, we suggest an eight step process to better address disease outbreaks through early and sustained community engagement. These steps include ensuring that outside health care workers familiarize themselves with a community (its customs, beliefs, and informal leaders) before entering; that they enter accompanied by a respected local leader, and with “cultural humility” (showing respect for the community’s knowledge and assets); that they listen and learn, not simply give orders and take unexplained and fear-producing actions. A meeting in the community, called by local leaders and to which outside health workers are invited as guests, is another important step; it allows outsiders to share what they know while promoting reciprocal learning, and establishing trust and respect. Community meetings also provide a good platform for assessing “community readiness” to work with health care workers in identifying aspects of the standard infection prevention and control (IPC) protocol that might be adjusted to improve their cultural congruence, without compromising safety. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Health in All Urban Policies - new publications

We recently published our work in Richmond, CA, detailing our Health in all Policies (HiAP) strategy and ordinance. The Ordinance was singed into law by the Richmond City Council in April 2014. We have detailed the processes and content of our work in two papers:

"Health in All Urban Policy: City Services through the Prism of Health," from the Journal of Urban Health &
"A Health-In-All-Policies Approach Addresses Many Of Richmond, California’s Place-Based Hazards, Stressors," from the journal Health Affairs.
We hope to share our experiences with other cities aiming to incorporate Health Equity in all decision making.

Health Equity in Paris

With all the attention to inequalities in Paris and Europe more generally, I am co-leading a collaboration between University of Paris X, Nanterre, and UC Berkeley focused on reducing health inequities in the Paris and San Francisco metropolitan regions. This collaboration started in Fall 2013 and continues into February 2015.  During February,  I brought a team from Richmond, California, to Paris to share our experiences with the Richmond Health Equity Partnership and Health in All Policies and to learn from collaborations between the University Paris and Ile de France, Conseil Regional. We heard from students from the Sante pubique et territores laboratory about their term projects researching the determinants of cancer disparities.  We also met with with Marianne Auffret, vice Mayor of Paris 14th, in charge of Health.  We plan to continue this collaboration through a comparative study of the health equity implications of the "Suburbanization of Poverty" in Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area.  Stay tuned.