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Empowerment Through Community Building: Diabetes Today in the Pacific

Braun, Kathryn L.; Ichiho, Henry M.; Kuhaulua, Rie L.; Aitaoto, Nia T.; Tsark, JoAnn U.; Spegal, Robert; Lamb, Betty M.

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: November 2003 - Volume 9 - Issue - p S19–S25
Commentary

The goal of Diabetes Today, a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is to develop coalitions and train coalition members in assessment, planning, and evaluation to address diabetes in their communities. CDC established the Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center (PDTRC) in 1998 to tailor the program for Pacific Islander communities in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau. PDTRC's work is guided by the principles of community building and the goal of empowering coalitions to take action around diabetes. Culturally appropriate strategies are used to gain access to the community, transfer knowledge and skills, build coalitions, and provide technical assistance. Evidence of empowerment is seen in increased individual competence, enhanced community capacity, reduced barriers, and improved supports to address diabetes. To maintain the gains of community building in the Pacific, three factors appear critical: an engaged leader, a host agency for the coalition, and continuing access to technical assistance and funds.

Kathryn L. Braun, DrPH, is an Evaluation Consultant for the Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Henry M. Ichiho, MD, MPH, is a Program Manager, Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Rie L. Kuhaulua, MPH, is a Program Specialist, Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Nia T. Aitaoto, MPH, is a Program Coordinator, Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

JoAnn U. Tsark, MPH, is Program Director, Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Robert Spegal, MPH, is Program Coordinator, Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.

Betty M. Lamb, RN, MSN, is Program Development Officer, Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chrnoic Diabetes Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Corresponding author: Kathryn L. Braun, DrPH, Evaluation Consultant, Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center, Papa Ola Lokahi, 894 Queen Street, Honolulu, HI 96813 (e-mail: kbraun@hawaii.edu).

The Pacific Diabetes Today Resource Center (PDTRC) was funded by Contract #200–1998–00425 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors thank Maiomy Lorrin, Mary “Goldie” Myers, Eddie Oh, James Rarick, and Audrey Young. We also thank PDTRC site coordinators: J. Alfred, N. Amorin, W. Butler, U.K. Chow, I. Gonzaga, W. Hadley, M. Kaaihue, M. Kilafwasru, S. Liu, J. Mikami, K. Mongkeya, F. Newfield, S. Poll, L. Rapoza, A. Rengiil, M. Ruiz, V. Skilling, N. Spock, C. Stinnett, G. Suguitan, J. Tellei, L. Tenorio, T. Thinom, and P. Turituri. The authors also thank members of the PDTRC Advisory Committee: N. Agbayani, K. Bernie, C. Guzman, F. Hezel, J. Humphry, B. Jenkins, B.J. John, N. Knox, S. Kuartei, J. Langidrik, R. Leon-Guerrero, M. Samo, H. Spoehr, R. Tucker, J. Tufa, J. Villagomez, and U. Young.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.