From Exploration to Intervention...
Consistent with our mission, exploration and intervention for health equality, the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions has worked with various community entities in several endeavors to educate the community, such as Project: LIVE!, the Southwest Community Health Report, a nutrition workshop held within the community, and an ongoing Mental Health Forum to address the prevalent issues in the community.
Project LIVE!, a compilation of music and poetry featuring various local Baltimore artists and HCHDS faculty and staff, was created by the Hopkins CHDS and a web-based organization known as Poetology as a communication vehicle to increase awareness of health disparities among young African American adults through a medium they can understand and relate to. The CD has been distributed, free-of-cost, to educate the Baltimore community. If you represent an organization that works with or directly targets young adults, ages 18-24, and would like to request free copies of Project LIVE! to distribute to this demographic, please contact us with your name and a short description of your organization.
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The Southwest Baltimore Community Health Report
Operation Reach Out South West (OROSW), a committee of community leaders interested in improving the quality of life in Southwest Baltimore, was instrumental in guiding and monitoring the implementation and progress of the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities (EHDIC) - Southwest Baltimore Study. Following completion of the study, a series of meetings have been held with the coalition to share findings, solicit their feedback on the most pressing problems in the community, and begin formulating workable solutions to address these problems. In conjunction with OROSW members, the Southwest Baltimore Community Health Report highlighting the study's findings was prepared for participating community residents. This unique report informed the community residents of the basic results of the EHDIC-SWB study and was a valued resource for health education regarding healthcare resources available to the residents. The report was mailed to every address in the study area regardless of whether or not anyone from the household participated in the study.
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Nutrition Workshop in the Community
The Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions and OROSW hosted a nutrition seminar that was held in the community on December 2, 2004. Licensed nutritionists Marline McCarthy and Renee Wiggins educated participants, many of whom were residents of the community, about the value of nutrition. In their presentation, they provided reasons for eating healthy, simple ways to apply portion control, recipe conversions for healthier alternatives, and sample recipes. A meal was served demonstrating the tips shared in the presentation. Approximately 40 people attended and evaluations show very high reviews of the event and an expressed need for more health promotion interventions.
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Community Mental Health Forum
In addition to nutrition, the group reached the consensus that mental health was a unifying factor among many of the community's concerns. Consequently, HCHDS began hosting mental health forums in response to this need in 2005. Mental health faculty from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, community advocates and residents, staff from the National Association for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), Dr. Melva Green (psychiatrist), and HCHDS faculty and staff held three meetings to discuss, brainstorm, and leverage resources to address the marked mental health need in the southwest Baltimore community.
The HCHDS held a series of events and meetings to ascertain the services and programs available to the community to begin to address community concerns around mental health issues. Out of these discussions several programs were highlighted.
- Experience Core is a program to improve educational and social outcomes for children and teachers in Baltimore City's public elementary schools by mobilizing the resources of older adults, and simultaneously promoting their physical and mental health and quality of life through meaningful and productive service roles. George Rebok of the Department of Mental Health is the principal investigator
- Mood Indigo 101: The Unexpected Faces of Depression is a 15-minute video developed by Dr. Melva Green, the goal of which is working to create non-threatening messages to stimulate hope and minimize isolation.
- National Association for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) programs including piloting training session for school system, for parents and teachers; 12-session, free, intensive course for families; support groups for consumer family members and relatives; 10-week relapse prevention course (for consumers); relapse prevention course (for family members); and speakers available to talk at churches, groups, schools, etc. and share personal testimonials
Throughout the year, the HCHDS facilitated the interactions among different organizations and the community. To date, we continue to work with the community to ensure that the connections and services identified are implemented and received.
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