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Community Research Initiatives
Community Research Initiatives
2009 NW Miami Dade Community Benchmark Survey
Health disparities often result from socially unequal systems that congregate multiple overlapping and interconnected environmental and social risks and stressors. Minority communities in historically disenfranchised areas are disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes, elevated disease risks, and adverse conditions for health. The primary objective of this study is to conduct a community wide assessment that documents the influence of social determinants on health status of individuals and families living in several medically underserved racially and culturally diverse neighborhoods in North Miami-Dade County.
Findings from the Community Benchmark Survey project will add to a growing body of literature indicating that community level variables such as poverty, poor housing conditions, unequal access to health treatment, and racism have a compounded negative impact on health outcomes. The resulting baseline data provided by this survey will be used to target future community-based participatory research efforts designed to improve health outcomes.
The baseline assessment is a population-based random sample survey covering a geographic area in North Miami-Dade County containing approximately 36,000 households. Of these, 2200 households who lived in either single family dwellings or duplexes were selected to participate in the survey.
The survey contains questions addressing demographics and topics that follow FIU HWCOM and/or community interests. These include issues associated with health access, social determinants, health behaviors, selected questions addressing legal aspects of the households, and health outcomes of special interest. Health outcomes are limited to intermediate outcomes of large prevalence (such as children with disabilities, maternal and child health problems such as asthma, issues related to pregnancy, some chronic disease prevalence in the elderly population, diabetes, hypertension, etc). The survey questionnaire contains validated questions from surveillance systems and other sources such as the Centers for Disease Control, World Bank, World Health Organization and Annie E Casey Foundation thereby allowing the results from this community to be compared to an immediate national frame of reference.
Members of the local community were recruited and trained to serve as the field investigators. They were responsible for conducting the household interviews and achieved a staggering 80% completion rate.
Benchmark data, data layers using geospatial information, and other community identifiers will be analyzed for emergent themes and utilized to establish frequency maps, community patterns and descriptive characteristics for the overall community, community organizations, networks and neighborhoods. Relational analysis using geospatial information and analysis will be done to determine the associative measures of proximity between community characteristics, distribution of risk determinants, and outcomes.
2011 Little Haiti Benchmark Survey and Post-Earthquake Needs Assessment
The Little Haiti Benchmark Survey is a funded supplement of an National Institute of Health (NIH) grant
Titled: CENTER FOR SUBSTANCE USE AND AIDS RESEARCH ON LATINOS IN THE UNITED STATES
The Haitian community in Miami-Dade has been affected in a myriad of ways by the recent catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. Given the close proximity to Haiti and the historic migratory patterns between Haiti and South Florida, the consequences of the aftermath of the earthquake are likely to have both short- and long term impacts on South Florida and its Haitian population. It is anticipated that the need and demand for health care and social services for residents of Miami’s Little Haiti community will intensify.
The Little Haiti Benchmark study will provide valuable baseline information needed for the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine to form an equitable partnership with the Little Haiti community and establish a socially responsive medical school program designed to close the gap in health disparities and provide short-, mid-, and long-term mitigation efforts, thus improving prevention strategies and the overall health status of local residents. These linkages will be developed using an innovative trans-disciplinary approach and engaging the community on multiple levels and across organizational systems.
This study provides an opportunity to collect much needed information on past conditions before the disaster (by recollection), what specific risk factors have the greatest impact on the daily living conditions of Little Haiti residents now after the disaster, and will provide the opportunity for longer term monitoring of this community for relief efforts. The results obtained will inform the development of community-based strategies and policies to restructure health and social services and inform future research efforts focused on post-disaster determinants of the health status of patients and communities. In particular, the results will immediately aid in the short- and long-term recovery of Haitian individuals and families directly affected by the Haitian earthquake. Consequently, the medical training model developed as the result of this study will result in cutting edge health practitioner relief programs in this community where current services and medical students will be equal partners with social workers, nurses, lawyers, and community based organizations ( churches, housing advocates to name but a few to address their patient’s health and social needs).
2012 South Miami-Dade Community Benchmark Survey
To be initiated soon….