Fall 2010 Newsletter
The book, Urban Health: Combating Disparities with
Melissa A. Gutierrez (M.S.,2006) works as an Epidemiologist and Project Coordinator at the Sinai Urban Health Institute in Chicago, Illinois. She recently co-authored a book chapter, Pediatric Asthma in African American and Latino Chicago Communities – Local Level Data Drives Response. The chapter is part of a new book, Urban Health: Combating Disparities with Local Level Data, Edited by Steven Whitman, Ami M. Shah and Maureen R. Benjamins.
The book describes health disparities in Chicago and strategies for eliminating these disparities.
It is the hope of Gutierrez and her colleagues at the Sinai Urban Health Institute that the book will make a significant contribution to our collective efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate health disparities, not just in Chicago but throughout the country as well.
About the Book
The 1980s opened a discussion of the varying nature of health in different segments of the United States. Falling under the rubric of “health disparities,” a great deal of research has been published demonstrating the substantial differences in health status between groups within a population. The causes of health disparities are varied and not always clear but most researchers agree that disparities are a reflection of social and economic inequities and political injustice. One of the obstacles to addressing disparities is the lack of meaningful local health data, especially for vulnerable populations, which is often nonexistent despite being a critical factor for informing health programs and policies at the local level.
The book describes how a landmark health survey in Chicago generated dramatic data that are allowing investigators throughout the city to move from data to action and from observation to intervention. It provides a new model for combating health disparities that includes the collection of local health information, the genuine engagement of community members and organizations, and the implementation of interventions for sustainable change. Eight case studies are provided to illustrate just how researchers worked with communities to identify and address health problems including smoking, obesity, asthma and diabetes. Each provides a detailed description of how the community-focused collection and analysis of health data can serve as an impetus for improved well-being.
Hayley Hegland presents in the CBH course Evaluation I
Hayley Hegland, (2010 MPH), Lead Community Health Outreach Coordinator of Healthy Linn Care Network at Linn County Public Health, was invited to guest lecture this fall for Evaluation I: Theory and Applications (172:181). Hegland shared her real world experience of developing, implementing, and evaluating a peer health education program- “YAP”, a project she initially developed through her Evaluation I coursework and expended for her practicum. She told class that implementation and evaluation of a new program can have unexpected challenges. She said the key to success is to adapt the evaluation plan to fit the organizations’ needs and resources.