Citizen-health-advocates-to-be-trained-in-new-leadership-institute-hosted-by-Tulane-PRC

Citizen health advocates to be trained in new leadership institute, hosted by Tulane PRC

Anyone can be a health leader and improve their communities, if given the right tools and skills. That's the goal of a new two-year citizen-training project led by Tulane health researchers and community engagement staff.

Starting this spring, NOLA LEADS – which stands for Leadership Education & Action on health Disparities – will recruit 50 individuals from across New Orleans to participate in an institute, which includes a series of six trainings held over three months. The institute will focus on helping people develop the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for changes in structural conditions – such as zoning laws, school policies, and transportation systems – that contribute to health disparities. Participants will create advocacy plans to put the lessons into action.

Click here to get the application and contact the project team.

"This opportunity is open to New Orleans residents who are concerned about improving the lives of their neighbors and the conditions of their communities. We are looking specifically for people who have not worked in public health previously," said Ashley Wennerstrom, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Tulane School of Medicine and a collaborating faculty member at the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC), which is overseeing the $300,000 training project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Much of the program will be modeled after the Louisiana Community Health Worker Institute, a program that Wennerstrom founded and currently directs. During and after the institute, participants will provide feedback on the program through surveys and interviews.

"We expect the participants will experience an increase in knowledge and self-efficacy – or belief in their ability to affect change in social conditions. We hope to see more health-related activities in the community, too," said Jeanette Gustat, another Tulane PRC faculty who serves as a co-investigator on the project and is a clinical associate professor of Epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Tulane faculty, staff, and students will then provide results back to the participants, partners, and the broader community through public presentations and distributing one-page summaries at community events, like health fairs and neighborhood meetings.

"We are committed to sharing the insight we gain from this program so that other communities can replicate our model," Wennerstrom said.

By Naomi Englar, Tulane PRC Staff

Topics:   training , health communication , community advisory board , policy

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