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Community Initiatives, Comprehensive

  • By: Anne P. Hubbell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The search for a collaborative effort to address health disparities began in the early 1900s with settlement houses. These houses were often in urban areas, staffed by missionaries, and served urban immigrants. They were, in essence, the earliest neighborhood centers in the United States and they provided health services, legal services, classes, and child care, and at times advocated for improvements to neighborhoods such as public sanitation. The settlement houses struggled with the often incongruent needs of stakeholders including residents and government officials. They also were often funded from outside the community they served, therefore, residents were not part of the conversation when decisions were made about which issues were important to address.

At this time the field of social work also began to reshape thinking ...

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