CHER at APHA 2018

A record-breaking total of seven abstracts on research and evaluation at CHER were accepted for oral and poster presentations at the 2018 American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Annual Meeting. In line with the meeting’s theme of "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now", three abstracts highlighted the connection between place and health and were on CHER’s evaluation of Building Health Communities Long Beach (BHCLB), one of 14 sites selected for a 10-year place-based initiative funded by The California Endowment to improve health by improving the social determinants of health. The three BHCLB-related abstracts were:



A Community-led Effort to Increase Open Space for Park-poor Residents in Central Long Beach
described the construction of Gumbiner Park in Central Long Beach. This community-led effort transformed a dangerous intersection into a safe, open space that provides residents with access to amenities, programming, and the arts, and also improves pedestrian connectivity between multiple neighborhoods. (poster presentation)

Green Zones: A Community-led Effort to Reduce Cumulative Environmental Impacts in
Long Beach, CA

reported on data collected from over 200 residents who were asked to identify the most significant issues in their community. Findings informed the development of the Green Zones campaign that aims to address discriminatory land use practices in West, Central, and North Long Beach. (poster presentation)

A Community-led Effort to Increase Food Access and Improve Economic Development through Urban Agriculture
was an example of an innovative use of vacant lots to increase access to healthy foods while reducing neighborhood blight. This collaborative effort between local farmers, community-based organizations, and community residents resulted in the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones program that provides tax breaks to property owners who agree to transform their vacant lots into urban farms for at least 5 years. (poster presentation)

The Community Wellness Program (CWP) described the ongoing collaborative project between five Cambodian-serving organizations to reduce mental health disparities among Cambodians in Long Beach and Santa Ana. The CWP is one of 35 California Reducing Disparities Projects funded by the California Department of Public Health to generate practice-based evidence using community-defined approaches to address mental health disparities (oral presentation).

Also accepted were three abstracts on the Peer Promotion of Wellness and Enhanced Linkage to Resources Project (PPOWER) Project, which is designed to explore the influence of peer role models and support on substance use reduction and HIV/HCV prevention and wellness behaviors among the population group at greatest risk for becoming infected with HIV. The three abstracts accepted are described below:

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Increased Sexual-Risk Behaviors in a Sample of Young Black Men Who Have Sex With Men (YBMSM) in Los Angeles County, California described the associations between  trauma faced by YBMSM in intimate relationships and HIV and STD infection rates in the YBMSM community. (oral presentation)

Structural Social and Behavioral Facilitators and Barriers Associated with Anti-Retroviral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Usage among Marginalized YBMSM in Los Angeles County, California
examined factors associated with PrEP/PEP uptake among YBMSM and highlights the need for addressing HIV stigma and healthcare discrimination when working with YBMSM. (oral presentation)

Stigma and Discrimination: Fueling the HIV Epidemic among YBMSM in Los Angeles County, California
examined the relationships between HIV stigma and experiences of discrimination and HIV risk behaviors, and discussed the need for innovative interventions to reduce stigma and enhance collective commitment in eliminating discrimination in healthcare. (poster presentation) . 

APHA’s Annual Meeting is the nation's largest assembly of public health professionals. This most recent meeting took place on November 10-14, 2018 in San Diego, California.