The Culturally Informed Healthy Aging (CIHA) program integrates nursing, anthropology and epidemiology as an approach for a Nurse Practitioner to systematically partner with communities and providers to assess social determinants of health to identify community cultural capital (community strengths and assets) and issues central to aging and health.19 The goal of the program is to build community capacity for healthy aging. Health issues are identified and culturally informed healthy aging interventions are developed, implemented and then sustained by the community, as appropriate. Through the CIHA community developed interventions, we propose that elders’ health is promoted and acute exacerbations of chronic illnesses are decreased.
More specifically, in the CIHA program, a registered nurse practitioner (NP) works closely with a Community Advisory Board (CAB) to conduct a systematic culturally informed community health assessment grounded in the community cultural and social determinants of health. Based on this assessment, in partnership with the CAB, the NP facilitates identification and prioritization of gerontology and healthy aging focused issues/problems. Upon prioritization of the health issue, a Gerontology Community Advisory Board (GCAB) workgroup is formed. This group consists of community and provider partners who are interested in and/or have expertise in the chosen area of intervention. The GCAB assists with a) identification of best practices and evidence-based practices, b) determination of an intervention program, c) translation of the intervention into local practice, and d) implementation and evaluation of the intervention.