OVERVIEW: Understanding the health needs of our local communities is the first step in developing impactful solutions to improve health. To that end, the SC CTSI's Community Engagement (CE) group conducts listening sessions in which community members share health concerns affecting their families and communities. The results of these sessions are brought back to the SC CTSI leadership to identify opportunities for outreach, programming and ongoing communications.
GOALS: To identify the health needs of our communities, and to work with them to develop and test solutions.
CURRENT ACTIVITIES: We generally hold 2-3 sessions a month in locations such as churches, community centers, community interest organizations, libraries, and senior centers. Recent sessions have leveraged new partnerships with the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
We have conducted 11 listening sessions with promotores from the Vision y Compromiso network. We have conducted nine listening sessions in South LA, and major themes included:
1. Lack of access to vaccination sites in local neighborhoods
2. Need for more information for community residents to make informed decisions
3. Finding that younger generations are more hesitant to obtain the vaccine than their parents or grandparents
4. Fears over vaccine side effects and infertility
5. Mistrust of the government and historical trauma