The Mosby Partnership holds a very significant and singularly distinctive position at VCU. It is the only university collaboration that focuses exclusively on engaging public housing residents in activities that improve health and reduce health disparities.
Mosby is one of seven public housing communities located in east Richmond. It comprises more than 460 housing units. More than 93 percent of these households are headed by a female. The average annual household income of Mosby residents is $10,609.
The goal of the partnership is to reduce health disparities by helping the residents of Mosby understand and address the individual, social and structural factors that impact their health. This goal is being achieved through the following objectives and associated activities: 1.) coordination of a community planning process, 2.) collection of data to identify the health needs and assets of Mosby residents, 3.) prioritization of the identified needs, 4.) development and implementation of strategies to address the identified needs and build on community assets, and 5.) development of a plan for sustainability.
Community-based participatory research is the model being used to equitably involve all partners in the process and to build upon the strengths that each partner brings. A core group of residents along with VCU and other community partners meet once or twice a month at the Mosby Recreation Center to identify needs and assets, as well as best practices for promoting health.
The partnership has identified community resources, held a visioning process and gathered feedback from other residents. To enhance this process, a 16-week PhotoVoice project was recently implemented in an after-school program with a group of Mosby youth. There have been other significant milestones within the partnership.
As a result of preliminary assessment findings, the Richmond City Health District, the Virginia Department of Health, Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Mosby residents and VCU are working together to establish a health and resource center in Mosby. The Mosby group will continue to analyze data and use it to obtain financial, political and other support for interventions that improve health.