36552 Good Health Is Good Business: Reaching Vulnerable or Underserved Populations through Businesses That Serve Them

Sanda Pecina, MA, Social Marketing and Communication, FHI 360, Washington, DC and Suzanne Gates, MPH, Division of Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Background: FHI 360’s Social Marketing and Communication Department assisted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Community Health (DCH) in producing three new videos in the “Making the Business Case for Prevention” series. The goal of these videos—one of which is in Spanish—is to help bridge the health equity gap by showing African American and Hispanic business owners and leaders examples of programs that are making healthy living easier for vulnerable and/or underserved communities while simultaneously benefitting businesses. These business benefits include a) increased profits, b) improved health of the local workforce from which they hire, c) stronger relationships with the community, and d) an expanded customer base. The videos profile the successes of a Hispanic corner store grocer and an African American manager of a grocery store in Omaha, Nebraska, who increased and promoted offerings of fresh produce and other healthy foods. Their stories demonstrate that improved public health can both benefit communities and be profitable for businesses; inspire action and motivate change by illustrating what is achievable; build support for community health among multiple audiences; and support the sustainability efforts of DCH awardees. The Douglas County Health Department contacts who made these videos possible are meeting with stakeholders to discuss using the videos for the following purposes:

  • Educational – sharing them with the Douglas County Board of Health, other public health boards, and decision-making bodies
  • Engagement – strengthening relationships with existing partners and building bridges to new ones and the community at large
  • Recruitment – involving new corner store owners and neighborhoods, engaging Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce members as supporters

Program background: The inaugural set of “Making the Business Case for Prevention” videos was shot in Louisville, KY; Parkersburg, WV; and Boston, MA. View them at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dch/multimedia/videos.htm and on the Community Health Playliston CDC’s YouTube channel.

Evaluation Methods and Results: Dissemination of the new videos has begun nationally through websites, social media channels, and partner outreach, and is also planned by the Douglas County Health Department in Omaha. We will use process measures—including web metrics, social media activity, and views from online video sharing sites—to evaluate this distribution. We expect to share some results, including testing results from research with business audiences and awardees, by August 2015.

Conclusions: n/a

Implications for research and/or practice: The videos—available at the links below—provide public health practitioners and others with tools to demonstrate the multiple benefits of making healthy living easier. Targeting business leaders with messaging that resonates with them is critical to developing and sustaining community health efforts to reach vulnerable populations in high-need areas. New business-case videos that focus on workplace and workforce wellness are in development.
Making the Business Case for Prevention: Healthy Options Sell in a Food Desert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU5lJQpJFMc
Making the Business Case for Prevention: Hispanic Grocer Says Produce Sells: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF9jNqmTGy8
Demostrando el Caso de Negocios para la Prevención: Las Frutas y Verduras Se Venden Solas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipzr61GP8cQ