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health disparities, lay health advisor/community health worker, perinatal/maternal tobacco cessation, process evaluation, translational research



  1. English, Kevin C. RPh, MPH
  2. Merzel, Cheryl DrPH
  3. Moon-Howard, Joyce DrPH


The value of lay health advisor (LHA) interventions as an effective approach toward ameliorating racial, ethnic and/socioeconomic health disparities has been noted by researchers and policy makers. Translating scientific knowledge to bring state-of-the-art health promotion/disease prevention innovation to underserved populations is critical for addressing these health disparities. This article examines the experiences of a community-academic partnership in designing, developing, and implementing an evidence-based, LHA-driven perinatal tobacco cessation program for low-income, predominately African American and Hispanic women. A multimethod process evaluation was conducted to analyze three essential domains of program implementation: (1) fit of the tobacco cessation program into the broader project context, (2) feasibility of program implementation, and (3) fidelity to program implementation protocols. Findings indicate that project partners have largely succeeded in integrating an evidence-based tobacco cessation program into a community-based maternal and infant health project. The successful implementation of this intervention appears to be attributable to the following two predominant factors: (1) the utilization of a scientifically validated tobacco cessation intervention model and (2) the emphasis on continuous LHA training and capacity development.