On March 5, 2010 Indiana CHEP held the 2nd Annual Community Advisory Council Meeting at WFYI in Indianapolis. CHEP is the Community Health Engagement Program which is part of the Indiana CTSI. Dr. Carol Boushey and Donna Vandergraff are actively involved in representing Purdue in this effort.
Over 50 organizations accounting for 72 meeting attendees were represented. The purpose of this meeting was to level the playing field between Indiana Community Organizations - who have an interest in the health needs of their Hoosier constituents – and Academic Researchers. The goal of the meeting was to initiate the development of a common language among the two groups in order to foster collaborations and ultimately improve the health of Hoosiers.
Brief presentations by Dr. Ron Ackermann, CHEP Co-Director and Dr. Terry Zollinger, member of the Indiana CTSI Community Executive Board (CEB), updated participants on the work of CHEP over the last year which included the formation of the CEB. Dr. David Marrero, CHEP Co-Director provided participants with an update on focus groups conducted by CHEP with community stakeholders, Purdue researchers and IU School of Medicine researchers. Those focus groups provided the basis for the forum.
Two working sessions were held, focusing first on identifying barriers to the community and researchers working together, followed by development of action plans to address those barriers. Dr. Marrero and Edie Sutton, Purdue Extension, St. Joseph County facilitated the working groups.
The forum included a presentation by Dr. Jakob Jensen, Dept of Communication, Purdue, “Communicating the Message.” He described progress that can be made with groups effectively communicate utilizing the example of the Virtual Nurse program.
“Conversation Cafes” were held to allow participants to form groups around specific topics of interest, such as child and infant health, communicating the message, diabetes, mental health, needs assessment and evaluation, obesity, older adults, public health and tobacco use and working with minorities.
The day concluded with one on one speed networking conversations in which any participant could speak with any other participant in 15 minute focused time periods.
Enduring Action Groups (EAGs) were formed to carry on the work that began at this forum. Stakeholder Engagement is led by Dr. Haslyn Hunte, in the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology and will focus on identifying stakeholders, performing stakeholder analysis and determining the best methods for accessing stakeholders. Building sustainable community research partnerships is another goal of this EAG. The Education, Communication and Training EAG is led by Donna Vandergraff, Foods and Nutrition, and Suzette Foster, Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. This EAG will focus on locating and developing health literacy training materials for community and academia. One goal is to provide education and training that the community and academia can participate in together. The Informing Policy EAG is led by Daniel Lopez of the Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs and will engage the community to gather information about health status and use it to better inform changes in health policy as well as foster conversations to guide funding priorities to better meet community needs.
The next statewide CAC meeting is scheduled for September 2010.
Information about this event and other CHEP initiatives can be found at www.indianactsi.org/chep
For more information contact Donna Vandergraff, firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Boushey, email@example.com.