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3572 The Flint Community’s Action Plan to Rebuild Trust and Encourage Resiliency During the Post Water Crisis Phase

  • Karen D. Calhoun (a1), Kent Key (a2), E. Yvonne Lewis (a3), Susan J Woolford (a1), E. Hill DeLoney (a4), Jennifer Carerra (a2), Joe Hamm (a2), Ella Greene-Moton (a4), Patricia Piechowski (a1), Kaneesha Wallace (a5) and Elder Sarah Bailey (a4)...

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: o To review the community’s recommendations on how to rebuild trust in the Flint community. o To review effective community engagement strategies utilized with the Flint Special Projects for project conceptualization, participant recruitment, data analysis, project oversight, and dissemination. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: The study population includes nearly two hundred residents representing seniors, youth and diverse ethnicities recruited to participate in eleven focus group meetings. The population also represents the general public who attended informational meetings in Flint, Michigan to learn about the crisis and allow residents to voice their opinions and concerns during the onset of the crisis. The project is a mixed methods community based participatory research effort that utilized community decision making in all phases of the effort such as pre-conception, implementation, dissemination and advocacy to encourage the community’s recommendations are adopted at policy and institutional responsiveness levels. It includes three community engaged research efforts: (project 1) A qualitative analysis of community sentiment provided during 17 recorded legislative, media and community events, and (projects 2-3) two mixed methods efforts utilizing purposive sampling of stakeholders whose voice may not have been heard. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The project presents a qualitative analysis of the community’s voice during the onset of the man-made disaster when the community first became aware of the emergency manager’s plans to switch the water source. It also reflects current perspectives of community voice since the projects are scheduled to end late February 2019. Findings from a trust measure administered to nearly two hundred residents will be presented, along with a qualitative analysis of focus group findings among segments of the population (seniors, youth, and diverse ethnicities) who may have been left out of narratives on the water crisis. Finally, the project will compare empowerment and resiliency approaches being utilized in Flint, Michigan to recover from the disaster with other approaches grounded in literature and theory. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Communities of color often experience social determinants of health which negatively impact their health, well-being and human rights. Some Flint citizens are experiencing negative health consequences (i.e., rashes, brain and behavioral sequelle, fertility, etc.) as a result of the disaster, and are uncertain of health outcomes in the future. This is the first project to rigorously document and analyze levels of trust and mistrust in the city of Flint since the water disaster occurred. The qualitative research will guide future clinical research that will benefit this traumatized community experiencing high levels of mistrust (i.e., government, elected officials, etc.). The community engaged methodology involved residents and study participants in all phases of the project including project oversight, validating and analyzing data, and dissemination. This methodology will contribute to existing literature and theory on community based participatory research, community engaged research, team science and citizen science. The approaches empowered a call to action among residents, for example, seniors who attended two senior focus group sessions shared “they are hopeful and have a purpose,” resulting in the creation of a council (with officers) at their housing complex to advocate for the well-being of seniors during the recovery process. Recruitment methodologies were extremely successful due to resident level trust in community leaders and community partner organizations. Finally, the project’s examination of approaches encouraging empowerment and resiliency will provide lessons learned for other communities challenged with crisis.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-ncnd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

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