Institute staff present research projects at APHA Meeting & Expo in Atlanta

November 29, 2023

From November 12-15, several Institute for Family Health staff members attended the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. This year’s conference theme was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges.”

Institute staff presented the following projects:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness & Barriers to Vaccination: Comparing Perceptions Based on Vaccination Status,” presented by Saskia Shuman, MHS. This oral presentation shared findings from seven focus groups conducted in collaboration with the NYC Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities (NYCEAL), which explored themes such as perceptions about vaccine effectiveness, barriers to vaccination, and trust in science.
  • “This is my life and it’s what I decide to do with my life: Perceptions of the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in New York City,” by Jacqueline Chiofalo, MPA. Also in collaboration with NYCEAL, this poster presentation convened focus groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated community members to examine vaccine perceptions and decision making in regards to NYC’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
  • Immaculada Moronta, MIM, worked on the production of “Bronx Health REACH Health Bucks: Faith Based Success Story,” which was accepted at the APHA Film Festival. Health Bucks are $2 coupons that shoppers can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at NYC farmers’ markets year-round. Since 2015, Bronx Health REACH has partnered with Bronx houses of worship to promote and distribute Health Bucks to the community. Together, they have distributed over 22,000 Health Bucks and led 108 farmers’ market walking tours, encouraging  over 1,300 participants to purchase fresh produce.
  • “Identifying pregnant and breastfeeding women’s concerns about COVID-19 vaccines in the Bronx,” presented by Moria Byrne-Zaaloff, MPH. Bronx Health REACH conducted focus groups with Bronx parents and doulas to better understand concerns around COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and how to address these concerns through effective, culturally relevant vaccination promotion. Based on findings from these focus groups, Bronx Health REACH launched the Doula/Perinatal Care Navigator COVID-19 and Flu Vaccine Education pilot to address low vaccination rates among pregnant women in collaboration with the Institute for Family Health’s Perinatal Care Program and Bronx ReBirth and Progress. This project included 12 doulas, three perinatal care navigators and 27 pregnant and breastfeeding patients.

The Institute was pleased to have the opportunity to present these projects to the national public health community at APHA.

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