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Incorporating Community-Based Strategies to Engage Dayton-Area Families

By Jessica Salem, MPA, Executive Director, Center for Health Equity, Dayton Children's Hospital

The Dayton Children’s Center for Health Equity employs new and innovative approaches to reduce disparities and improve community health. The Center supports the hospital’s transformation from a health care delivery organization to an institution of wellness by recognizing where health disparities exist, identifying health outcomes to improve, supporting clinical staff in health equity improvement activities, and researching and evaluating interventions to decrease disparities.

Central to our work is authentic community engagement to highlight the voices of families and the community. Through this work, we co-design solutions with the community that may be far more impactful than what we could have done alone.

An example of how we engage the community is our community advisory board, which is a little different than a patient-family advisory committee that gives input into hospital clinical operations. Our community advisory board includes a dynamic group of community members who give feedback on the Center programming and approaches. They have been critical in survey creation, identifying new community partnership opportunities, and giving input in the direction of our community health programs.

Another way we engage with our neighbors is through our community-driven research agenda that uses mixed methods and community-based participatory research approaches to engage others in the research process. Through these methods, we have engaged community members as co-principal investigators in research projects.

When the Center for Health Equity was created in the fall of 2021, we were committed to ensuring community and family voice. We look forward to working with the Center for Family Voice through Groundwork Ohio to learn and share our strategies to continue elevating the voice of families across the state of Ohio.

To learn more about the center's work within the community, please contact Jessica.

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