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Resources for Student Activist for Community-Academic Partnerships

The following resources can be found through an online literature search, or through the links below.

Advocacy Methods for Public Health

Chapman, S. Advocacy for Public Health - A Primer. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2004;58;361-365

This article provides extremely useful guidance for how to run a successful advocacy campaign, and lays out a set of ten questions to help walk activists through the process of designing a successful advocacy effort.  It uses a case study of political action on a university campus in Australia to demonstrate how to apply these principles to effect change, and is therefore particularly relevant to advocacy efforts to make change within academic settings. 

Chapman, S. Advocacy in Public Health: Roles and Challenges. International Journal of Epidemiology 2001;30:1226-1232.    

This article discusses many of the common challenges facing public health activists -- including public health academics who wish also to become public health activists -- and proposes ways to avoid or address these challenges.  It highlights particular challenges by using case studies of advocacy efforts focusing on three areas: gun control, prevention of deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes, and tobacco control.

Christoffel, KK. Public Health Advocacy: Process and Product. American Journal of Public Health 2000;90(5):722-726.

This article describes the activities and participants involved in public health advocacy, and proposes a very useful three-stage framework for health advocacy initiatives.  The framework can be used to identify the focus of an advocacy initiative, the skills that will be needed in the advocacy team, and the most productive activities for the advocacy group to undertaken, given on its members' skills and social roles.  This article is extremely helpful to understand how to select your advocacy projects based on the particular skills and roles of your team members, and to identify when you will need help from outsiders with different skills and roles to achieve your aims.

Huntington, CG. Advocating for Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. Prepared for Discussion at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health's 4th Annual Conference, April 29 - May 2, 2000, in Washington, D.C. To access online go to:

This paper describes how to engage in national political advocacy to promote community-campus partnerships.  It includes helpful guidance for developing your key messages, and communicating with decision makers to win their support for your goals -- all skills transferrable to any advocacy effort.

Organizational Change Methods

Greenhalgh T, Robert G, MacFarlane F, Bate P, and Kyriakidou O. Diffusion of Innovations in Service Organizations: Systematic Review and Recommendations. Milbank Quarterly 2004;82(4):581-629.

This article is an extensive review of a broad array of literature relevant to the question of how to spread and sustain changes in health services organizations.  It characterizes the attributes of innovations, and the factors that influence adoption of innovation by individuals and organizations.  Based on these findings, the article proposes a detailed conceptual model for the diffusion of innovation process, which highlights the many factors that influence the success of a diffusion of innovation effort.  The model, while intended for health services delivery organizations, is generalizable to other organizations, such as JHSPH.  The article provides helpful lessons for why some innovations are successful and others are not.

JHMI Engagement in the East Baltimore Community

Fox CE, Morford TG, Fine A, Gibbons MC. The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute: A Collaborative Response to Urban Health Issues. Academic Medicine 2004;79(12):1169-1174.

This 2004 article by current and former faculty and staff of the Urban Health Institute (UHI), including its first director, includes key health statistics about East Baltimore and describes the formation and early goals and activities of the UHI.   This article also includes an excellent summary of health indicators in East Baltimore, and contextualizes the paradoxical relationship between the resources existing at JHMI and the poverty and poor health of neighborhood residents within national trends.

DeFrancesco S, Bowie JV, Frattaroli S,Bone LR, Walker P, Farfel MR. The Community Research, Education and Practice Consortium:  Building Institutional Capacity for Community-Based Public Health. Public Health Reports 2002;117:414-418.

This article by current and former faculty at JHSPH describes a former faculty consortium for community engaged scholarship created to: elevate the status and visibility of community-based research, education and practice at the School; enhance communication among faculty, staff, and students working with communities; and develop the School's capacity to partner with nearby communities to address community health priorities.  This Consortium is no longer active, but three of the authors who are current faculty at JHSPH -- Drs. Bowie and Frattaroli and Ms. Bone -- continue to specialize in community-engaged scholarship.

Gomez MB, and Muntaner C. Urban Redevelopment and Neighborhood Health in East Baltimore, Maryland: The Role of Communitarian and Institutional Social Capital. Critical Public Health 2005;15(2):83–102.
This article was written by a former Executive Director of SMEAC (Save Middle East Action Coalition), an organization advocating for residents of East Baltimore affected by the redevelopment project, and an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.  It examines how social capital -- defined as "the norms and networks that enable people to act collectively" -- influences the health of the East Baltimore neighborhood as it undergoes redevelopment.   They considered the influence of social capital within the community, called "bonding relationships," as well as the role of social capital that might or might not exist between community organizations, JHMI, and the state government, called "bridging relationships."  This article also includes an excellent summary of health indicators in East Baltimore, and contextualizes the urban poverty in East Baltimore within national trends.

Bowie J, Farfel M, Moran H. Community Experiences and Perceptions Related to Demolition and Gut Rehabilitation of Houses for Urban Redevelopment. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 2005;82(4):532-542.

This qualitative study by former and current JHSPH faculty members describes East Baltimore community members' experiences with and perceptions of housing demolition to make way as part of the redevelopment project in East Baltimore.  One goal of this study was to involve community members in developing approaches to address their concerns related to demolition and urban renewal

Farfel MR, Orlova AO, Lees PSJ, Rohde C, Ashley PJ, and Chisolm JJ, A Study of Urban Housing Demolitions as Sources of Lead in Ambient Dust: Demolition Practices and Exterior Dustfall. Environmental Health Perspectives 2003;111(9):1228-1234.

This quantitative study by current and former JHSPH faculty found that the demolition of row homes in East Baltimore resulted in acute increases in lead in settled dust immediately after demolition, but 1 month after demolition, lead levels were lower than they had been before.  These authors produced a series of articles assessing the impact of the demolition going on in East Baltimore on exposure to lead dust.  You can access all of them through PubMed.

Goldberg-Freeman C, Kass N, Tracey P, Ross G, Bates-Hopkins B, Purnell L, Canniffe B, Farfel M. “You’ve Got to Understand Community”: Community Perceptions on “Breaking the Disconnect” Between Researchers and Communities  Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 2007;1(3): 231-240.

This qualitative study by current and former faculty and staff at JHSPH, and an employee of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, explored the attitudes of East Baltimore community members who both had and had not participated in research collaborations with JHMI.  They produced recommendations for how academic institutions an move towards more equitable partnerships with their communities in the conduct of community-based research.  Study participants with personal experience engaging in research collaborations had more positive attitudes about research than other study participants.

Student Activism

Mohan CP and Mohan A. HealthSTAT: A Student Approach to Building Skills Needed to Serve Poor Communities.  Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2007;18:523–531.

This article describes the formation, organization, and activities of the student advocacy group Health Students Taking Action Together (HealthSTAT), a student-run 501(c)3 organization, with membership at professional schools across the state of Georgia.  HealthSTAT trains graduate students in advocacy skills, and advocates for state policy change on these issue areas: childhood obesity prevention, health disparities, access to healthcare, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

HealthSTAT. Making a Difference through Advocacy (HealthSTAT)   

This PowerPoint presentation prepared by the student advocacy group Health Students Taking Action Together (HealthSTAT) provides step-by-step a guide to mounting a successful student-led advocacy campaign to impact state health issues.  It uses the HealthSTAT's campaign to prevent the closure of a major state safety net hospital in Atlanta to demonstrate these steps.

Grande D, Srinivas S. Social Change through Student Leadership and Activism. Prepared for Discussion at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health's 4th Annual Conference, April 29-May 2, 2000, Washington, D.C.  To access online go to:

This paper by two former presidents of the American Medical Student Association argues that health professions graduate schools should train students in the leadership and advocacy skills necessary to become advocates for national healthcare reform.  It proposes a list of skills that should be taught, and methods for teaching them through coursework and institutionally-supported, student-led extracurricular projects.  It makes a case for students being in the best position to change the curricula at their academic institutions, and includes a flow chart for how students can navigate the academic setting to advocate for curricular change.  This article also recommends ways that professional societies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies -- such as the federal HRSA Bureau of Healthcare Professions and state and local health departments -- can provide leadership development opportunities to health professional students.

Longo N, Bowley E. Students as Colleagues: Developing Student Leadership and Building Capacity for Service-Learning. Presented on April 29, 2008. Support from: Campus Compact and Learn and Serve America.

This PowerPoint presentation outlines strategies for how students can get involved in community engagement at their academic institutions. It also includes a brief outline of how interested organizations, such as Campus Compact, have promoted student involvement in community engagement at the undergraduate level since the 1980's.

More Resources for Student Activists: Publications and Weblinks 

This document includes helpful publications and weblinks for student activists.  It includes a list of additional publications available on the web, or in print, which either delve into the topic of student advocacy for community engagement, or provide helpful tools to student activists.  It also includes links to the websites of major national organizations that support student engagement in the community. 

Other Student Advocacy Groups in the US    

This is a list of other student advocacy groups in the US, with descriptions of their work, and links to their websites.

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