Timothy Buckley, PhD
|Award Name||Community Pilot 2009|
Bridging Barriers for Community Access and Assistance
Timothy Buckley, PhD, OSU College of Public Health, was awarded one of five pilot projects for community engagement in research by the Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science. The purpose of the pilot projects is to support OSU faculty in developing sustainable community-researcher partnerships.
Buckley’s project was developed to build a partnership to support the Wedgewood residents who face many indoor environmental threats associated with the building complex including insect infestations, rodents, and environmental tobacco smoke. Stakeholders participating in the partnership include residents, the property manager, Columbus Public Health, Eakin Elementary, Home Properties, and the Community Health Advisory Committee.
Buckley engaged the Wedgewood Village community in a series of discussions which were used to understand the public health concerns of its residents. Discussions were provided in three languages, English, Somali, and Bantu, to include a wider range of the community.
Wedgewood Village was an area of importance for research because it is threatened by many problematic conditions such as, bug infestations, high prevalence of asthma, mice and bed bugs.
The programs implemented from these discussions focused on how to deal with infestations, personal hygiene, health issues, and any other needs the residents had expressed. Informational meetings gave residents the tools to combat these problems and some information packets.
“We delivered a program based on what we understood their interests and concerns to be,” said Buckley.
Buckley did run into a few challenges, such as finding a group of residents willing to build a strong partnership. Disorganization within the community complicated research efforts and the ability to bring a large group of residents together.
“An unanticipated challenge was to find residents with whom to make that partnership,” said Buckley.
The research team found more success on a one-on-one basis with residents and were able to become a strong presence in the community.
The project took place from March to September of 2009, after Buckley received a one-month extension. Since the end of the project, Buckley has applied for an EPA grant which is still pending.
Using the partnership the research team developed with the Wedgewood Community, the proposal outlines a plan to train certain residents to deal with the issues facing the community and shows them how to disseminate the information to others. Those individuals would then act as a liaison between the manager and the community. Buckley hopes to evaluate the effectiveness of this type of intervention by using a control group within the community.
By Samantha Smith, Wednesday, November 18, 2009