National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Front Matter
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×

1


Introduction
1

There is a large and diverse body of practical work and research demonstrating that community engagement is a critical ingredient in efforts to improve the social determinants of health and the built environment, said David Kindig, professor emeritus and emeritus vice-chancellor for health sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and a co-chair of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Population Health Improvement. Examples of such research include Griswold et al. (2013), Lundquist et al. (2012), Pastor et al. (2011), and Speer and Hughey (1995). But, Kindig continued, it is important to keep in mind that effective community engagement consists of more than simply surveying the community or holding a few focus groups. Community leadership, voice, and power are essential components of successful interventions. The role of the community in improving health has been discussed by a number of previous IOM committees (IOM, 2003, 2011, 2012).2 Those reports describe a multisector system in which public health, health care, community-based organizations, busi-

____________

1 This workshop was organized by an independent planning committee whose role was limited to identification of topics and speakers. This workshop summary was prepared by the rapporteurs as a factual summary of the presentations and discussion that took place at the workshop. Statements, recommendations, and opinions expressed are those of individual presenters and participants and are not necessarily endorsed or verified by the Institute of Medicine or the roundtable, and they should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus.

2 For more information on what is meant by “community” in a health context, see MacQueen et al., 2001.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×

ness, and other stakeholders work together toward the goal of healthier people, said Mary Lou Goeke, the executive director of United Way of Santa Cruz County, California, and the chair of the workshop planning committee. The 2003 IOM report provided a framework for collaborative action that endorsed the notion of shared governance through which population health would be improved in partnership with community members. Across the country there are now many community groups and organizations involved in noteworthy and effective ways of improving livability, wellness, and health in their communities, Goeke said.

On April 10, 2014, the IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement held a public workshop at the California Community Foundation’s Joan Palevsky Center for the Future of Los Angeles that featured invited speakers from community groups that have taken steps to improve the health of their communities. For background, Kindig referred participants to two discussion papers released on the day of the workshop and available on the roundtable’s website—“Engaging the Public Through Communities of Solution and Collaborative Empowerment” (Etz, 2014) and “Safe Summer Parks Programs Reduce Violence and Improve Health in Los Angeles County” (Fischer and Teutsch, 2014)—and to the brief summary of a related roundtable workshop held in December 2013, Supporting a Movement for Health and Health Equity: Workshop in Brief (IOM, 2014).

WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES

The roundtable supports workshops for its members, stakeholders, and the public to discuss issues of importance for improving the nation’s health. An independent planning committee, chaired by Mary Lou Goeke and including George Flores, Kate Hess Pace, Melissa Simon, and Julie Willems Van Dijk, was charged with developing a workshop to explore the roles and potential of the community (e.g., resident groups, organizations, and diverse coalitions) as leaders, partners, and facilitators in transforming the social and environmental conditions that shape health and well-being at the local level (see Box 1-1). The workshop, titled The Role and Potential of Communities in Improving Population Health, was designed to facilitate discussion about important ingredients, effective strategies, and other lessons learned in three contexts:

  • youth organizing,
  • community organizing or other types of community participation, and
  • partnerships between community and institutional actors (e.g., universities and academic researchers, public health agencies, and government officials).
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×

BOX 1-1
Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a public workshop featuring presentations and discussion on how to develop partnerships with communities with the goal of improving population health. The workshop will (1) feature selected speakers from communities across the United States who have taken steps to improve the health of their communities and (2) include discussion of the potential roles of communities for improving population health. The committee will identify specific topics to be addressed, develop the agenda, select and invite speakers and other participants, and moderate the discussions. An individually authored summary of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.

ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKSHOP AND SUMMARY

The workshop consisted of a keynote presentation on the power of communities in improving health (Chapter 2), a report of a site visit conducted on the previous day by several IOM roundtable members to a local community-based organization, and three panels designed around the topics listed above, each offering examples of the challenges and successes of their community organizing efforts. The first panel and the report of the site visit focused on how young people are developing skills and contributing to the health and well-being of their own communities (Chapter 3), the second panel considered how community organizations are tackling the social determinants of health (Chapter 4), and the third panel discussed aspects of establishing partnerships between institutions and communities (Chapter 5). In the closing session, roundtable members and invited speakers were asked to offer their observations on the main themes that emerged from the workshop sessions and their perspectives on how to move forward (see Box 1-2). Members of the audience were also invited to reflect on the workshop themes and engage the panelists and roundtable members in dialogue (Chapter 6).

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×

BOX 1-2
Topics Highlighted During Presentations and Discussions

Throughout the workshop, participants shared many important insights into the role and potential of communities. These included

  • Ecosystem approach: build the capacity of community members to advocate for themselves (Harris-Dawson, Hill, Lacrosse, Marshall, Pace, Pastor, Simon, Vasquez, Watson-Thompson, Willems Van Dijk)
  • Power of storytelling and narrative to build trust between people within organizations (Harris-Dawson, Lacrosse, Marshall, Pastor, Vasquez)
  • Storytelling as a way to bridge the interests and values of community organizers with researchers and health care professionals to build stronger relationships (Harris-Dawson)
  • Data is more meaningful and compelling to community members when it is connected to stories (Pastor, Watson-Thompson)
  • Breaking down silos and using authentic facilitated dialogue to build new narratives as vehicles for change (Canady, Simon)
  • The power of “we” (Canady, Simon)
  • Youth play important roles in building and educating communities as they are developed as leaders and encouraged to improve themselves and their communities (Lacrosse, Marshall, Simon, Vasquez, Willems Van Dijk)
  • Participating in community organizing has a positive influence on the health of communities and individuals (Hess Pace, Marshall, Pastor)
  • School integration leads to improved life expectancy and mortality rates, improved health, and decreased trauma, stress, and obesity (Hill)
  • Violence is a priority when addressing community health concerns (Canady, Harris-Dawson, Willems Van Dijk)
  • Develop plans and strategies to take community efforts to a larger scale (Canady, Lacrosse, Marshall, Pastor)
  • Multisector partnerships with an attention to the social determinants of health (Watson-Thompson)
  • University–community partnerships that include mutual learning and sharing of information and knowledge to build relationships that strengthen communities and influence policy (Canady, Harris-Dawson, Pastor, Watson-Thompson)
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×
Page 1
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×
Page 2
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." Institute of Medicine. 2015. The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18946.
×
Page 4
Next: 2 The Power of Communities »
The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement: Workshop Summary Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $44.00 Buy Ebook | $35.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

The Role and Potential of Communities in Population Health Improvement is the summary of a workshop held by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Population Health Improvement in April 2014 that featured invited speakers from community groups that have taken steps to improve the health of their communities. Speakers from communities across the United States discussed the potential roles of communities for improving population health. The workshop focused on youth organizing, community organizing or other types of community participation, and partnerships between community and institutional actors. This report explores the roles and potential of the community as leaders, partners, and facilitators in transforming the social and environmental conditions that shape health and well-being at the local level.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!