Community empowerment in rural health care

Public Health Nurs. 1995 Feb;12(1):25-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.1995.tb00119.x.


The Healthy Communities 2000 mandate calls for public health leaders to involve community members in setting health priorities and implementing programs in response to the national health objectives for the year 2000 (American Public Health Association, 1991). This paper describes community involvement through a community empowerment nursing intervention and evaluates its application in a rural community. A community health nursing project (AHCPR, Grant No. HS06801) with three interventions, one of which was community empowerment, was designed to address the health needs of small, rural, underserved, primarily Mexican American communities in Arizona. Community empowerment in this project was based on the community-development approach to community organization, and involved community health nurses and lay health workers, called promotoras, who are key persons in community development. The implementation of two health fairs, one the result of the community-empowerment intervention, is described and evaluated in relation to community health. The community-empowerment intervention was based on community participation and responsibility, hallmarks of the second health fair, reflecting lay expertise and cooperation among various levels of the community. Successes and limitations of the health fairs provide feedback for developing a community-empowerment intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arizona
  • Community Health Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Workers
  • Community Participation*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Power, Psychological
  • Rural Health*