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March 2013 – Recruiting and Securing Spaces for Discussion Groups

This month we’re working with the Bernalillo County CINCH (Collective Impact for Neighborhood and County Health) project to recruit 50+ participants (service providers, advocates, and community members) for discussion groups in order to get input about chronic health conditions and to discuss ideas to address these conditions on a policy level. We are recruiting people from specific communities — International District, South Valley, I-25 Corridor, African American, and Native American — that are disproportionately affected by these chronic health conditions.

In general, recruiting involves a lot of flyering, emailing, calling, face-to-face contact, follow-up, and reminders. For this project, recruiting for some of the groups has been done mainly via email and phone because community gatekeepers, or liaisons, provided us with lists of people they know personally who would be potentially interested in participating. However, we are also doing the more challenging type of recruiting which involves not having a gatekeeper and requires hitting the pavement to find and talk to potential participants.

Getting ready for multiple discussion groups throughout the county also requires securing spaces for each one. When doing this we always keep in mind times and locations that are best for the participants. Additional considerations for securing a space: participant comfort and safety, cost, audio-visual capabilities, room set-up, parking, distance to public transportation, and ease of communication with the person that oversees that space.



February 2013 – Field Investigation

As part of the research study we are doing with Urban Health Partners through the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, we are conducting interviews with medical providers and administrators from primary care clinics across Bernalillo County. We’ve conducted 17 so far and have 2 more to go.

October 2012 – Conduct Focus Groups

We’ve been busy conducting 6 focus groups over the past few weeks for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center – Urban Health Partners. Focus groups were done in both English and Spanish. This was part of a research study where we are assessing a health model in Bernalillo County.

Focus group room set-up at a local community center. For this project we held the focus groups at community locations most convenient to the different groups we were targeting.

Depending on our client and research protocols, we audio record sessions and then later transcribe them (and translate, if needed). We always have two recorders with microphones running.

Food incentives are essential for most focus group discussions. Participants spend their time with us and so we want to make them as comfortable as possible. Depending on the client, participants, or project, this may be snacks or a meal.

Gift card incentives help to ensure participation.