159785 Deaf Americans as Community Health Workers

Monday, November 5, 2007: 8:30 AM

Anita Marie Buel , Deaf Community Health Worker Initiative, Minneapolis, MN
Nancy Joan Meyers, MS , Deaf Hospice Education & Volunteer Project, Minneapolis, MN
The Deaf CHW Initiative in Minnesota, is a pioneering effort. Program goals are 1) provide outreach, health education and advocacy to Deaf people who depend on sign language and, 2) create a sustainable program of certified Deaf CHWs. A fellowship provided Anita Buel, a Deaf Minnesotan, with seed money for starting this unprecedented community-based initiative. Buel, the director/CHW will use video-clips, PowerPoint and case studies during her presentation. As a 24-year breast cancer survivor, hospice volunteer and founder of the “Pink Deafies,” a support group for breast cancer survivors, she has served clients in these settings. However, her prior work in Deaf education also brought her into the classroom where she collaborated with the Minneapolis Heart Institute in educating Deaf students about heart health. Because there is no health data base on the population, identifying intervention strategies is difficult. Lack of cultural knowledge about this population also requires the education of health professionals. Particularly challenging is explaining why an interpreter often is “not enough” for the transmission of information that is comprehensible to the patient, and comprehensive enough for the physician. Buel recently received a grant to begin documenting the personal journeys of the “Pink Deafies.” The film will serve not only as an educational tool, but tell the story of why women in this tight knit community were reluctant to “come out” and self-organize. Videotapes will meet two essential needs: expand access to information and meet the visual learning needs of Deaf people.

Learning Objectives:
1.Articulate 5 myths and misconceptions about Deaf Americans with implications for quality care. 2. Identify 3 cultural characteristics that impact patient health literacy and comprehension. 3. Apply understanding of the relationship between cultural characteristics and health literacy through analysis of 3 case studies. 4. Describe 3 essential differences between an American Sign Language interpreter and a Deaf CHW. 5. Describe 3 benefits for using a DCHW in the hospice setting.

Keywords: Deaf Patients, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.