A Community-Based Participatory Assessment of Health Care Needs in Post-Katrina New Orleans

An Update for Community Members and Advocates

Published In: After Katrina: Rebuilding a Healthy New Orleans, Final Conference Report of the New Orleans Health Disparities Initiative / ed. Marcheta Gillam et al. (Washington, D.C. : Poverty & Race Research Action Council, May 2007), p. 43-50

Posted on RAND.org on May 01, 2007

by Benjamin Springgate, Catherine Jones, Charles Allen, Shaula Lovera, Ruth Klap, Diana Meyers, Lawrence Palinkas, Kenneth B. Wells

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.prrac.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The Rapid Evaluation and Action for Community Health in Louisiana (REACH-LA) Phase I was a four-month project conducted between May and August 2006 to identify the needs, existing resources, gaps, and solutions to ensuring health care in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Unlike other studies of post-hurricane health issues, this project used community-based participatory methods to engage community members themselves in the design, conduct, and interpretation of the results. Various New Orleans' citizens comprised a Community Advisory Board (CAB), which secured community engagement throughout the project's duration. A Scientific Advisory Board was assembled to provide scientific oversight, methodological and conceptual support. Finally, information was collected through 30 interviews of key informants (policymakers, health sector recovery planners, healthy system administrators, health care providers, and community health leaders), four Community Discussion Groups (CDG) in diverse Greater New Orleans neighborhoods, and a Community Feedback Conference. This approach afforded insight into the depth and breadth of concerns and ideas for solutions in the aftermath of one of the largest disasters in the nation's history. This brief report describes the findings from the Community Discussion Groups, which affords the most direct insight into grassroots community perspectives on healthcare needs in response to the disaster.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.