Project Summary

Background: Wichita, Kansas is a large, urban and diverse community, often at a cultural crossroads of progressive movements and traditional beliefs. Adverse health outcomes are associated with this type of cultural juxtaposition. As such, this region has one of the worst infant mortality health disparities in the country, along with a higher teen birth rate, lower preventive screening rate, and higher number of children in single-parent families. Additionally, older women experience a higher rate of chronic illness, disability, and comorbidity. The health disparities that exist are both economic and racial.
This proposal includes a strategy and techniques to gather information and foster collaborations in the community to lead to future proposed solutions. The proposed solution is a patient-centered approach to foster a community of trust through collaborative efforts.

Objectives: This funding will support the exploration of the patient-centered impact of healthcare needs across the lifespan to improve health equity. Short-term objectives are to develop a network of women in partnership with academic and community health stakeholders. Long-term objectives are to:

  • Sustain the patient-led Women’s Network
  • Facilitate action-oriented and patient-centered discussions on health disparities and solutions
  • Educate patients, community members, and healthcare-related stakeholders on the patient-centered outcomes research process
  • Modify community-based participatory research tools to support patient-centered outcomes research in Wichita and for dissemination in other communities

The project will answer these questions:

  • What are the priority health disparities for women in the Wichita community?
  • What community-proposed strategies will build trust in the community and reduce these patient-identified health disparities?

A Women’s Network was selected to prioritize the health needs of women and children, since the health needs are the greatest among this population and because women are most likely the health decision makers in families. Additionally, older women face a number of challenges related to health outcomes.

Outcomes: The overarching goal of the project is to build trust within Wichita to reduce health disparities and improve health equity. The result of these efforts will result in tools and resources that may be useful to other awardees for increasing patient and/or other stakeholder engagement in PCOR and CER, PCORI, and the broader PCOR community.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Existing community patient networks, panels, and consortiums will be consulted for advice on patient and stakeholder recruitment. Existing patient groups will be asked for advice and consultation on recruitment and sustained engagement, an dinvited to participate in the Women’s Network. Patient stakeholders will be co-facilitators of the Women’s Network and will be engaged at every action step of the project. 
Collaborators will be similarly recruited and engaged from existing groups within Wichita including a strong network of maternal and infant stakeholders, a childhood abuse prevention task force, and a fetal/infant mortality review board/community action team. A special effort will be made to include faith-based stakeholders.

Journal Citations

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Project Information

Amy Chesser, PhD, MA
Keene Woods, PhD, MPH, MA
Wichita State University

Key Dates

November 2020


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 8, 2024