Community Resilience and Recovery Initiative: Final Evaluation Report. Outreach and Screening Strategies

03/27/2014

The first year of the PRIDE program included an extensive public media campaign with multiple strategies including neighborhood canvassing, mass mailing, literature drops, billboards, newspaper ads publicizing the PRIDE program with messages that normalized help-seeking behavior. The screening committee met every month and reviewed data to determine how program participants learned about the program. As the program progressed, screening data indicated that direct contact with the public health nurses was a more effective outreach strategy than mass media. As a result, PRIDE concentrated its resources for outreach around direct contact. These nurses screened at traditional sites, such as the FQHC, and waiting areas in partner agencies as well as non-traditional sites, including homeless shelters, Catholic Charities, churches, and libraries. New partners, such as faith-based organizations and Goodwill, also provided additional screening sites. In some situations the nurses used blood pressure screening as the way to reach consumers, who perceived less stigma around addressing a physical health problem. As the project progressed the public health nurses expanded screening to public venues like City Hall and grocery stores, as well as community events such as neighborhood fairs. PRIDE also used JOBS graduates and community volunteers for direct contact through neighborhood canvassing and speaking at community events.

Although some of the partners were experienced in screening individuals for service needs within their own agencies, CRRI screening offered a couple of new things. First, all partners were trained to use the Patient Tools software screening program. Second, the screenings were designed to assess a person's comprehensive service needs, not just the person's needs related to an agency's focus. Screening conducted by the mental health agency partner, for example, might result in referrals for family strengthening and job-related services. There were pros and cons to this approach. Because the screener was not tied to any specific provider, it educated those screened about a variety of resources available in Lorain. It also made the staff doing the screening more familiar with services provided by agencies outside their own. The challenges to having such a decentralized process, however, were, first, that the provision of the services was constrained by the capacity of the agency to meet the increased demand. Some services were available immediately and others required a wait. In addition, participants often had to go through a second intake process when they arrived at an agency with their referral. Nevertheless, faith community leaders interviewed during the final Westat site visit indicated that an important contribution of PRIDE was the education of the community about existing resources.

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