Research has been a core strategy for the Hispanic Health Council’s (HHC) pursuit of its mission since its inception. HHC was founded with a vision of addressing barriers to health care and positive health status by improving polices and systems that impact health, access to health care and social well-being. The strategy developed by HHC from the start was the use of action research, or what is now termed “community based participatory research,” to fully engage community members in designing needed policy/system changes – which in many cases were then promoted by HHC.

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COMMUNITY BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH

As HHC’s work progressed, the organization identified a lack of culturally relevant health-related support services available to its target community, and determined that HHC should play a role in developing them. As with its policy advocacy efforts, HHC’s direct service work was launched from a research platform - assessment assured that developed interventions responded to real needs, and rigorous evaluation determined whether they achieve their desired outcomes (now termed “best practices”).

Over 38 years, each of HHC’s four core strategies - community-based participatory research, evidence-based direct services, provider training and policy advocacy - has informed and supported the other three.  This model has been strategically important to the organization’s success in a number of ways. Research has contributed to HHC’s organizational strength and achievement of its mission in a number of ways, including:

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  • Research has afforded HHC opportunities for academic partnerships, which have provided expanded funding opportunities and enriched its portfolio of skills and marketable products. Examples are provided in Section IIA below.

 

  • Private funders and policy makers have increasingly required the evidence behind services provided as a criteria for funding. HHC’s history of research has provided this evidence. Some of its interventions are acknowledged as evidence-based by the federal government, which has led to their expansion and replication, and HHC’s national recognition.

 

  • HHC’s use of research has facilitated the organization’s ability to adhere to its organizational values. Research has assisted in assuring the perspectives and experiences of community members are integral to its work. Research has also established an analytical framework that has supported staff education about the root causes of health and social problems impacting community members, thus diminishing attitudes of blame and enhancing HHC’s social justice perspective. In addition, HHC’s research has led to system and policy changes that have addressed the social determinants of health impacting community members, and contributed to increased health equity in our targeted communities.

 

 CURRENT RESEARCH AT THE HISPANIC HEALTH COUNCIL

  1. Nutrition Education and Texting (NEAT)
  2. Hartford Mobile Market Evaluation
  3. Food As Medicine
  4. FAIR Health
  5. Choosing Wisely
  6. Rewards to Quit