175252 Innovative Approaches in Providing Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Cancer Education to the Diverse Asian American Community

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christine Liang , Asian American Health Initiative, Rockville, MD
Julie Bawa, MPH , Asian American Health Initiative, Rockville, MD
Cancer is the number one killer for Asian Americans. In Montgomery County, Maryland, Asian Americans are a vastly growing minority group. They have the lowest cancer screening rates and face the highest linguistic isolation rate of 40%, when compared to Latino and African Americans. Numerous factors impede cancer screenings such as lack of awareness, language barriers, and lack of culturally tailored programs to promote the importance of early detection.

In order to serve this diverse community, the Cancer Program of the Asian American Health Initiative (AAHI) under Montgomery County DHHS, was developed to increase awareness about the targeted cancers (colorectal, prostate, breast and cervical) by providing culturally and linguistically competent cancer education and screening services to Asian Americans. In order to effectively educate the community, cancer education and client care coordination are delivered through Health Promoters, bilingual community members that assist in gaining entry into various Asian American communities.

Through variegated approaches, the AAHI's Cancer Program strives to overcome the obstacles faced in obtaining health care. As a result, the Cancer Program has multiple translated educational materials and cancer screening applications, offers Health Promoters to help navigate clients through outreaches and screening appointments, reduce barriers to transportation with free taxi vouchers, and provides follow ups with clients. Since July 2007, more than 483 people have been educated on cancer and 99 people were referred for screenings. The strategies the AAHI Cancer Program has taken to reduce cancer disparities have helped serve the needs of Asian Americans in Montgomery County.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to: 1. Identify the barriers to accessing health care and cancer prevention screenings for Asian Americans living in Montgomery County, MD. (lack of awareness, language barriers, lack of promotion for the importance of early detection, etc…) 2. List the approaches the Cancer Program has taken to effectively outreach to the diverse Asian American community. (culturally and linguistically translated educational materials and applications, Health Promoters to provide client care coordination and navigation as well as entry into various communities, taxi vouchers to reduce barriers with attending screenings, etc…) 3. Apply the strategies of the Asian American Health Initiative’s Cancer Program in reducing cancer disparities as a model for other cancer programs targeting Asian Americans.

Keywords: Asian Americans, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Cancer Program Coordinator for the Asian American Health Initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.