Campus: CSU Long Beach -- November 01, 2002
Department Of Health And Human Services Awards
$1.5 Million Grant To Cal State Long Beach For Local Volunteer Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced
the awarding of a three-year, $1.5 million grant to California State
University, Long Beach for a project that will assist the Long Beach
community in assessing the role of volunteer community health leaders
and help local health officials learn more about health issues and community
resources among underserved residents.
Titled “Retention and Productivity of Community Health Leaders,”
the project was one of just 25 funded by the Office of Extramural Prevention
Research at HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In all, the CDC office received more than 300 grant applications from
across the country.
“I knew the competition would be pretty stiff. So, we were very
pleased to get the grant,” said Kevin Malotte, a professor of
health science at Cal State Long Beach and the project’s principal
investigator. “We wrote a fairly strong proposal, but you never
are sure. Still, I think (our proposal) had a good base, and we have
good partners that helped sell the proposal to the reviewers.”
Among the partners in the project are researchers from the USC School
of Medicine and Long Beach’s Partnership for the Public’s
Health (PPH). Funded by The California Endowment and implemented by
the Public Health Institute, PPH is pioneering efforts to bring about
long-term, systemic changes in how community health issues are identified,
addressed and evaluated in California. A total of 39 community groups
and 14 health departments are participating in the project statewide.
PPH in Long Beach involves three different community partners--the City
of Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services, the Community
Partners Councils and the Long Beach Community Health Council.
“We’ve worked with these partners for more than a year,
and they are great to work with,” Malotte pointed out. “This
grant will allow us to research some of the ways to keep residents involved
in fairly intensive health improvement programs. We’re hoping
to be able to determine ways to better encourage community residents
to stay involved in leadership positions in improving health in their
“And, it is not just an issue in Long Beach,” he continued.
“(Keeping community residents involved) is an issue wherever people
try to involve community residents in local health programs.”
Using a combination case-study and quasi-experimental approach, Malotte
and his colleagues will conduct a community-based, participatory research
study that will focus on four areas:
- Evaluate the impact of monetary vs. non-monetary incentives on
retention, participation, productivity and satisfaction with a group
of community volunteer health leaders participating in the Partnership
for the Public’s Health (PPH) project in Long Beach;
- Study the “natural history” of health leader retention,
participation and satisfaction among health leaders in the various
- Develop, implement and evaluate a community-wide participatory
intervention designed to increase knowledge about health-related activities
among traditionally hard-to-reach or underserved Long Beach residents
through the facilitation of home and/or community-based educational
sessions presented by the PPH health leaders;
- Evaluate the level of community awareness about the availability
of local resources, health leader educational sessions and program
recognition generated through outreach and distribution of role-model
story publications through the PPH project over time in the target
Long Beach communities.
In all, the 25 CDC grants are funding research in a variety of areas
such as physical activity, diabetes, youth and school-based health,
nutrition, obesity, asthma, drug prevention, tobacco prevention and
violence/ injury prevention. Findings from this research should help
communities develop public health policies and practices that promote
health and reduce disease, disability and injury among specific populations.
“This grant program seeks to reduce the time between discovery
and application of research by engaging as co-researchers the practitioners,
policy-makers or community members who would be the ultimate users of
research findings,” said Dr. Lawrence Green, director of CDC’s
Extramural Prevention Research Program.