Partnering with the Hispanic Community in Northeast Tennessee: Their Response and the Influences on Health Care Delivery
In 2003 La Coalicion Hispano-Americano de la Salud (CHAS) was initiated by interdisciplinary faculty researchers from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and representatives from the Hispanic community. Utilizing CDC funds, the members of CHAS and ETSU faculty engaged in community-based participatory research focused on diabetes prevention and treatment. CHAS identified two priorities: 1) to prepare CHAS members with an increased understanding of the critical health issues for local Hispanics; 2) to use this understanding to offer health fairs and useful health screening to community members. CHAS members requested and received training on diabetic care and prevention, domestic violence, depression, IRB certification and HIPAA standards. Armed with Spanish-language/Mexican cultural videos about diabetes, health equipment and resources for referral, the team implemented thirteen “chequeos” (health screenings) and informational sessions serving approximately 400 people.
The Hispanic community responded to this project by increasing trust with ETSU and members of the health care community. Increased utilization of the Johnson City Downtown Clinic (JCDC) resulted in doubling the number of Hispanic diabetic patients from approximately 50 to 100; CHAS members were included in at least 3 advisory health boards throughout Johnson City. A pilot study using Promotoras to deliver health information to Hispanic families was initiated by CHAS resulting in increased awareness of DM, high blood pressure and other related health issues. ETSU interdisciplinary students worked with CHAS members to implement programs focused on the need for interpretive services and cultural awareness specifically in hospitals and other agencies and in educating Hispanic children on nutrition and safety. The use of interdisciplinary students and faculty increased cultural awareness within multiple disciplines. As a result of this study development of culturally-appropriate methods of delivering health promotion and preventive care to Hispanic Appalachians will expand the community’s capacity to address the issue of DM through health advocacy.
Gail Gerding. "Partnering with the Hispanic Community in Northeast Tennessee: Their Response and the Influences on Health Care Delivery" Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Research Conference. Vienna, Austria. Jul. 2007.
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