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Soc Work Health Care. 2002;35(1-2):359-75.

Implementing a community intervention program for health promotion.

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Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Department of Community Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA.


High rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among low income African American and Latinos are well documented. While health promotion interventions leading to personal behavior change are known to reduce CVD in white, middle class, more educated populations, these approaches have not been widely tested in poor, minority ethnic communities. This paper describes a community intervention program to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors in East Harlem, a low income New York City community in Manhattan, whose population is 53% Latino and 39% African American. This primary prevention model seeks to change attitudes, norms and values regarding behaviors that contribute to chronic disease within a defined population through initiating changes in the social, educational, cultural and physical environment. Environmental and organizational conditions that predict successful outcomes for the model and strategies, methods and skills, borrowed from social work and other behavioral sciences to implement and institutionalize community wide lifestyle changes, are highlighted.

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