Rochester Healthy Community Partnership of Rochester, MN
Improving the health of underserved populations through proven methods and new ideas
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Let’s Talk about TB (completed)

More than half of active tuberculosis (TB) cases in the United States occur in foreign-born individuals; the majority of these cases are attributable to reactivation of latent TB infection (LTBI). Reactivation of LBTI may be prevented with appropriate screening and treatment of those at risk. Hawthorne Education Center (HEC) serves up to 2,500 adult learners each year; approximately 85% are foreign-born, of whom about three quarters are from high TB burden countries. HEC experienced frequent cases of active TB among its adult learners, which caused worry about health and disruption to the school. Past attempts to address TB at HEC through traditional ways had been ineffective. Hence, in 2004, HEC staff approached researchers at Mayo Clinic for help to address this issue over the long-term. A CBPR partnership was formed.

Let’s Talk about TB is a tuberculosis prevention and control program at HEC, and was the first CBPR project for RHCP. The community-academic research team provided orientation to CBPR. HEC staff and Mayo Clinic researchers developed the research strategy. Training workshops in focus group moderation enhanced community capacity to participate in the research process. Focus groups were conducted to understand HEC learners’ perception of TB and barriers and facilitators to screening and treatment. Together, HEC staff, learners and researchers developed educational tools to help answer and explain the most common TB questions and concerns in the Rochester community. Socio-culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate educational tools (posters, leaflets, videos), and a series of innovative educational interventions including classroom discussions, interactive learning experiences, and demonstration of TB testing were shown around World TB Day each year for three years. Learners were given the opportunity to sign up for and get the test on-site. Those found to have positive test results were referred to the local health department for further evaluation and management.

TB education and screening continues at HEC annually. A streamlined procedure for follow-up care at the Olmsted County TB Clinic is in place.

National Institutes of Health: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (RO3 AI82703)
Mayo Clinic: Department of Medicine, and Center for Clinical and Translational Science

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Nate Nordstrom