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The Promise-Keepers: Group-Mediated Education by and for African-Born Women Seeking HIV Care in Philadelphia

Global Education Colloquium

March 18, 2020
3401 Market Street, classroom 3014
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Kimberly McClellan, EdD
Drexel University

African-born, HIV-positive women living in the U.S. continue to experience care disparity in access to and control over their treatment when receiving professional health care services. In an effort to find ways to redress this injustice, this study uses the case of “The Promise Keepers,” to explore the role of community mediated education on community and individual health. The Promise Keepers are a community of practice that gathers regularly to deepen, share, and create a living repository of their knowledge of living as HIV-positive, African-born women seeking and obtaining care in Philadelphia. Through in-depth life history interviews, a group interview, and extensive participant-observation, this research illuminates the relevance and positive effects of education in the restoration of self-efficacy among community of practice members. As voiced by the Promise Keepers, group-mediated education facilitated members to established trust, create “safe space,” and reduced their perceived risk of isolation – as women, as both HIV-positive, and foreign-born – and in turn enhanced their perceived benefit of seeking support to achieve wellness. Findings will be of interest to educators and health practitioners working at the intersection of global education about health and healthy living.

Dr. Kimberly McClellan, EdD, MSN, CRNP, is an assistant clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions of Drexel University. Her primary clinical focus is driving the evolution and application of care models formulated to advance cultural/gender specific care access and outcomes. Her research interests include African and gender-related, cultural aspects of HIV Primary Care. She uses qualitative research to integrate translational concepts such as communities of practice, education, cultural humility, and health promotion to inform evidence-based care models in US, with a particular focus on supporting immigrant communities. Dr. McClellan holds nurse practitioner board certification in both Women's Health and Family Practice. She has extensive experience in the clinical areas of Women's Health, Family Planning, Community Health and HIV Primary Care. Dr. McClellan maintains her active membership in the American Nurses Association as well as the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, and she is the founding Vice President of the board of The African Family Health Organization.