NOLA-LEADs-finds-positive-results-from-citizen-training-program-

NOLA LEADs finds positive results from citizen-training program

Anyone can be a health leader and improve their community, if given the right tools and skills. That’s what the Tulane Prevention Research Center's two-year NOLA LEADs (Leadership Education & Action on health Disparities) citizen-training project has found since completing its work.

Keeping with the project's goal of helping all who are concerned about improving the lives of their neighbors and the conditions of their communities, the team has put together a one-page summary to easily share this project's outcomes. Click here to read the NOLA LEADs community brief.

"We are committed to sharing the insight we've gained from this program so that other communities can replicate our model," 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 oversaw the $300,000 training project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much of the program was modeled after the Louisiana Community Health Worker Institute, a program that Wennerstrom founded and currently directs.

Starting in Spring 2016, NOLA LEADs recruited individuals from across New Orleans to participate in this institute free of charge, specifically people who have not worked in public health previously. The institute included a series of six trainings held over three months. The trainings focused 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.

The team collected feedback from participants through surveys and interviews at six months following the project's end.

"As we've followed up with our trainees, we've been happy to see that they feel better equipped to address health disparities and improve their neighborhoods," 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. "Ultimately, they reported that they had increased leadership and communication skills, confidence in their abilities, and participation in leadership and community activities."

The summary has and will continue to be distributed to the participants, partners, and the broader community at events, like health fairs and neighborhood meetings and can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/NOLALEADsBrief.

For more information about NOLA LEADs, click here.

By Emily Szklarski, Tulane PRC Communications Research Assistant
April 2018

(Photo courtesy of Ashley Wennerstrom)

Topics:   community health , training , health communication

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