The bold, the brave, and transparent: Speaking truth to power in public health evaluation

Session Number: 1387
Track: Health Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Best Practices, community health, evaluation strategies, public health
Session Chair: Ayana Perkins [Senior Evaluation Consultant - Infinite Services and Solutions]
Presenter 1: Alexandra Catherine Hayes Nowakowski [Research Faculy I - Florida State University College of Medicine]
Presenter 2: Anne LaFond [Director JSI Center for Health Information, Monitoring and Evaluation - John Snow, Inc.]
Presenter 3: Chris Kippes [Director of Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Informatics - Cuyahoga County Board of Health]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Martha Halko [Deputy Director - Cuyahoga County Board of Health]
Session Facilitator: Ayana Perkins [Senior Evaluation Consultant - Infinite Services and Solutions]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Ayana Perkins [Senior Evaluation Consultant - Infinite Services and Solutions]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Robin Kuwahara [Health Scientist - CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Alexandra Catherine Hayes Nowakowski [Research Faculy I - Florida State University College of Medicine]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (04:30 PM - 05:30 PM)
Room: CC - 6

Abstract 1 Title: How evaluators can engage elements of their personal biography to facilitate building trusting relationships with asthma patients and other service users
Presentation Abstract 1:

Dr. Alexandra "Xan" C.H. Nowakowski is a medical sociologist and public health program evaluator whose work centers lived experience of hardship and marginalization. They engage their lived experiences of queer and gender identity as well as cystic fibrosis in connecting with people in underserved communities who receive public health services. Dr. Nowakowski has served for the past six years as an evaluator for the Florida Asthma Program and Coalition. Their presentation for this panel will focus primarily on experiences of engaging people from low-income, racial minority, and otherwise medically underserved populations in asthma services evaluation. It will also include anecdotes about community health assessment for local clinics. Dr. Nowakowski's examples will center how evaluators engaging elements of their personal biography can facilitate building trusting relationships with service users.


Abstract 2 Title: Understanding where human rights barriers lie: A critical step to address challenges in health equity
Presentation Abstract 2:

Stigma, discrimination, neglect or other violations of human rights associated with infectious diseases such as HIV and TB act as barriers limiting the uptake of and adherence to prevention, care and treatment services. Such discrimination and marginalization result in decreased health coverage, equity and access to services. It is critical to understand where these barriers lie and how they can be removed to ensure the success of HIV and TB programming in countries. The Global Fund for HIV AIDS, TB and Malaria has recently undertaken an effort to conduct baseline assessments in 20 countries to document the nature and extent of human rights-related barriers, as well as the existing and proposed programs necessary to address them.  The costing of such programs will provide an opportunity to address these barriers by scaling up programs focusing on people made vulnerable by discrimination and criminalization. This presentation will showcase this global effort.


Abstract 3 Title: A Road to Health Equity: Embracing Historical Truths and the Power of Collaboration
Presentation Abstract 3:

The Health Improvement Partnership – Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga), a large and diverse collaborative in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, is harnessing its collective power to build opportunities for EVERYONE to achieve their fullest health potential. Recognizing that differences in opportunities to be healthy are unfair and unjust, HIP-Cuyahoga is creating a new narrative for public health by taking a head and heart approach to working with key stakeholders to address the structural, systemic and institutional barriers at the root of local health disparities.  Through the Head approach the partnership considers and evaluates the evidence needed to implement effective programs and policies, recognizing the importance of having a reliable and clear picture of where the worst health outcomes are in the county. Through the Heart approach the partnership considers why data matters and considers who benefits and who is burdened by the conditions and circumstances that community members are living, working, learning and playing in. 


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Integrating health equity in evaluation helps assure that the social, environmental and economic factors that affect specific populations are appropriately addressed. When there is omission of health equity indicators from public health evaluations, what is evaluator’s role in “speaking truth to power”? This panel asserts that evaluators should communicate equity’s importance because its omission undermines public health and good evaluation practice. Panel will discuss strategies on how to include health equity in public health evaluation by a) engaging elements of evaluator’s personal biography to facilitate building trusting relationships with asthma patients and other service users;  b) guiding international and domestic programs towards health equity with transparency, c) using qualitative methods to highlight factors that influence health equity in evaluation of asthma and other chronic diseases using CDC Evaluation Framework, and d) employing an equity lens to demonstrate progress and impact across complex web of traditional public health and social change.