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J Prim Prev. 2010 Apr;31(1-2):31-9. doi: 10.1007/s10935-010-0202-z.

Community-based organizational capacity building as a strategy to reduce racial health disparities.

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Department of Health Behavior & Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, 3806 SPH I, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA.


One of the biggest challenges facing racial health disparities research is identifying how and where to implement effective, sustainable interventions. Community-based organizations (CBOs) and community-academic partnerships are frequently utilized as vehicles to conduct community health promotion interventions without attending to the viability and sustainability of CBOs or capacity inequities among partners. Utilizing organizational empowerment theory, this paper describes an intervention designed to increase the capacity of CBOs and community-academic partnerships to implement strategies to improve community health. The Capacity Building project illustrates how capacity building interventions can help to identify community health needs, promote community empowerment, and reduce health disparities.

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