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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
5038.0: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 9:30 AM

Abstract #106216

Immigrant community health workers in healthcare settings: Critical links between patients, providers and the broader community

Patricia Erwin, MPH1, Linette Escobar, MA2, Samira Causevic1, Alexander Mosalov3, Yelena Zmushko3, and Olga Radom1. (1) Newcomers Health Program, San Francisco Department of Public Health, 1490 Mason Street #107, San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-364-7651, patricia.erwin@sfdph.org, (2) SUNSET Russian Tobacco Education Project, Bay Area Community Resources, Ocean Park Health Center, 1351 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122, (3) Russian Community Health Programs, Ocean Park Health Center, 1351 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122

Community health workers (CHWs) who represent and work with immigrant and refugee communities are critical elements in supporting healthcare teams, improving patient well-being, and providing links between patients, providers and the broader community. CHWs have been an integral part of the services and programs provided by the Newcomers Health Program since its inception in the late 1970's. These CHWs work in multicultural healthcare and community settings as integral parts of the public health team. With skills, training and duties ranging from medical interpretation to outreach, from patient navigator to lay health educator, and from nursing assistant to record keeper, the CHWs are important players in the provision of quality care services to immigrant patients at two different public health centers. In this presentation, which will be principally developed by a team of CHWs some of whom will co-present if resources can be identified, we will discuss what specific roles the CHWs play at the health centers, and how we support teambuilding, create linkages to broader community services, build collaboration and share resources across disciplines and among CHWs of diverse ethnicities and nationalities. We will also highlight successful health improvement projects with integral links to the health centers and their culturally appropriate approaches to behavior change, health education and project evaluation methods. Recommendations for applying similar approaches and working with CHWs in other healthcare settings and public health projects will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

    Keywords: Immigrants, Community-Based Health Care

    Related Web page: www.dph.sf.ca.us/CHPP/newcomers/newcmrs.htm

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commertial supporters WITH THE EXCEPTION OF employment.

    CHWs as Integral Members of the Healthcare Team

    The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA