199791 An Innovative Statewide Initiative for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management with Newly Arriving Refugees in California

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:30 AM

Sandra Meucci, PhD , California Department of Public Health, Refugee Health Program, Evaluation Consultant, Portland, OR
Patricia Erwin, MPH , Newcomers Health Program, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
We will discuss the preventive health project that the California Department of Public Health, Refugee Health Program has implemented to address the clash in health care systems between the country of origin of newly arriving refugees and the US with a focus on prevention and management of chronic health conditions. Rather than view refugees as non-compliant, the Refugee Health Program provides funding to eight county refugee health programs to fundamentally change the approach and overcome challenges and barriers experienced by refugees at risk for, or living with, chronic health conditions. The eight programs address infrastructure changes to improve the monitoring and follow-up of referrals for refugees identified with chronic diseases such as hypertension and obesity. We will discuss approaches to collaboration between local agencies and the state to guide culturally appropriate programming, recruitment and training of community health workers, delivery of culturally relevant primary prevention health education, and chronic disease management with different refugee groups. We will discuss the critical importance of supportive partners including refugee clinics, community leaders and CBOs, as well as the unique roles each of the partners provides in the diverse approaches of this multi-faceted program. The presenters will discuss the challenges and importance of translation and interpretation of tools for diverse and unique communities, both linguistically and socio-culturally. Key evaluation findings and recommendations from the first three years of the preventive health project will be shared, along with methods used for conveying this information to make modifications to the project approach and activities.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify useful roles played by California departments of public health in chronic disease prevention and management with refugee communities. 2. List two important considerations when designing and implementing follow-up systems for chronic disease referrals to newly arriving refugees. 3. List two critical issues to integrate in the development of culturally appropriate evaluation tools.

Keywords: Chronic Diseases, Refugees

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 7 years Postdoctoral experience as the independent evaluator for private city, county and state preventive health programs.
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.