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We identify characteristics of local health departments, which enhance collaborations with community- and faith-based organizations (CFBOs) for emergency preparedness and response.
Online survey data were collected from a sample of 273 disaster preparedness coordinators working at local health departments across the United States between August and December 2011.
Using multiple linear regression models, we found that perceptions of CFBO trust were associated with more successful partnership planning (β=0.63; P=0.02) and capacity building (β=0.61; P=0.01). Employee layoffs in the past 3 years (β=0.41; P=0.001) and urban location (β=0.41; P=0.005) were positively associated with higher ratings of resource sharing between health agencies and CFBOs. Having 1-3 full-time employees increased the ratings of success in communication and outreach activities compared with health departments having less than 1 full-time employee (β=0.33; P=0.05). Positive attitudes toward CFBOs also enhanced communication and outreach (β=0.16; P=0.03).
Staff-capacity factors are important for quick dissemination of information and resources needed to address emerging threats. Building the trust of CFBOs can help address large-scale disasters by improving the success of more involved activities that integrate the CFBO into emergency plans and operations of the health department and that better align with federal-funding performance measures. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:57–66)
Investments have been made to alter the food environment of neighbourhoods that have a disproportionate number of unhealthy food venues. Corner store conversions are one strategy to increase access to fruits and vegetables (F&V). Although the literature shows modest success, the effectiveness of these interventions remains equivocal. The present paper reports on the evaluation of Proyecto MercadoFRESCO, a corner store conversion intervention in two Latino communities.
A repeated cross-sectional design was employed. Data were stratified by intervention arm and bivariate tests assessed changes over time. Logistic and multiple regression models with intervention arm, time and the interaction of intervention and time were conducted. Supplementary analyses account for clustering of patrons within stores and staggering of store conversions.
Three stores were converted and five stores served as comparisons in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, California, USA.
Store patrons were interviewed before (n550) and after (n407) the intervention.
Relative to patrons of comparison stores, patrons of intervention stores demonstrated more favourable perceptions of corner stores and increased purchasing of F&V during that store visit. Changes were not detected in store patronage, percentage of weekly dollars spent on food for F&V or daily consumption of F&V.
Consistent with some extant food environment literature, findings demonstrate limited effects. Investments should be made in multilevel, comprehensive interventions that target a variety retail food outlets rather than focusing on corner stores exclusively. Complementary policies limiting the availability, affordability and marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods should also be pursued.
Previous studies have established that acculturation is associated with dietary intake among Mexican immigrants and their offspring, but few studies have investigated whether food purchasing, food preparation or food-related values act as mechanisms of dietary acculturation. We examine the relationship between language use and a wide range of food behaviours and food-related values among Mexican-American adults.
Nationally representative probability sample of the US population.
2005–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Mexican-American adults (n 2792) at least 20 years of age.
Mexican Americans who speak only or mostly English consume more energy from fast-food and sit-down restaurants and report increased consumption of non-homemade meals, fast-food and pizza meals, frozen meals and ready-to-eat meals relative to Spanish speakers. English speakers prepare one fewer homemade dinner per week and spend less time on meal preparation. English speakers are more likely than Spanish speakers to cite convenience as an important reason why they prefer fast food over cooking at home. There is no relationship between language use and the perceived importance of the nutritional quality, price or taste of fast food.
Our results provide evidence that the well-documented relationship between acculturation and diet among Mexican Americans may be just one indicator of a broader pattern characterized by decreased home meal preparation and increased reliance on convenience foods.
Recent US disasters highlight the current imbalance between the high proportion of chronically ill Americans who depend on prescription medications and their lack of medication reserves for disaster preparedness. We examined barriers that Los Angeles County residents with chronic illness experience within the prescription drug procurement system to achieve recommended medication reserves.
A mixed methods design included evaluation of insurance pharmacy benefits, focus group interviews with patients, and key informant interviews with physicians, pharmacists, and insurers.
Results and Discussion
Most prescriptions are dispensed as 30-day units through retail pharmacies with refills available after 75% of use, leaving a monthly medication reserve of 7 days. For patients to acquire 14- to 30-day disaster medication reserves, health professionals interviewed supported 60- to 100-day dispensing units. Barriers included restrictive insurance benefits, patients’ resistance to mail order, and higher copay-ments. Physicians, pharmacists, and insurers also varied widely in their preparedness planning and collective mutual-aid plans, and most believed pharmacists had the primary responsibility for patients’ medication continuity during a disaster.
To strengthen prescription drug continuity in disasters, recommendations include the following: (1) creating flexible drug-dispensing policies to help patients build reserves, (2) training professionals to inform patients about disaster planning, and (3) building collaborative partnerships among system stakeholders. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:257-265)
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