An audience of nearly 200 business and health leaders joined us on Oct. 8, 2012 for our Sixth Annual Health Disparities Conference,  “Starting at the Top: Achieving Health Equity Through Executive Leadership”. Our expert panelists provided attendees with successful strategies to address and reduce health disparities in their communities, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dr. Ben Carson delivered the keynote address.

Through this series, we’ll be sharing with you answers to questions posed from our engaged audience members. Sign up for the Center on Health Disparities’ monthly e-newsletter for the latest on our Q&A Series. Register today by emailing Nancy Flores.

How do you integrate immigrant community needs within your health systems (e.g., language, cultural needs, special health issues)?

At Adventist HealthCare, we collect information about our local demographics and patient populations in order to understand the people and communities we serve.  We also partner with local government and community organizations who help us understand immigrant community needs primarily related to accessing healthcare and social services.

We obtain Information about immigrant communities by speaking to members of these communities to help inform our access services including the provision of trained and qualified bilingual staff and language interpreters to ensure high quality care for community members who speak little or no English.  We also offer assistance to immigrant populations who are underinsured or uninsured, so they can receive the care and services they need to manage their health problems.

For example, the Center on Health Disparitiespartners with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center to deliver health professional training to providers and other staff to help African immigrants better manage chronic and infectious disease and to improve health outcomes (e.g., Project BEAT IT!- Becoming Empowered Africans through Improved Treatment of Diabetes, Hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS).  The training focuses on understanding the African immigrant population, increasing knowledge about cultural beliefs and health practices, and using effective cross-cultural communication to improve adherence to treatment recommendations.

For more information about BEAT IT!, contact Emeobong Martin, Project Manager, and check out a video about the initiative.