203556 Employing teen educators in immigrant occupational health outreach: Logistical lessons learned and energizing aspirations uncovered

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

David M. Gute, PhD, MPH, BA , Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Alex Pirie, BA , Somerville Community Corporation, Immigrant Services Provider Group/Health, Somerville, MA
Ismael Vasquez , Community Action Agency of Somerville, Somervillebbb, MA
Franklin Dalembert , Haitian Coalition, Somerville, MA
Tufts University, in concert with its partners, the Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health (ISPG/H) as the community-based organization and the Cambridge Health Alliance as the health care provider have implemented a four-year program to address occupational health risks to immigrant workers in Somerville, MA. This activity is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A key part of this project leverages existing peer youth and adult educational training and advocacy programs for immigrants. These programs have been successfully implemented by certain members of the ISPG/H (Haitian Coalition, the Community Action Agency of Somerville, and the Brazilian Women's Group) on issues ranging from tobacco use and ambient environmental hazards to employment advocacy and skills building. A complement of middle- and high school age bi-lingual (Spanish or Haitian-Creole proficiency) Teen Educators (N = 14) have been hired, trained and re-staffed as individuals have "graduated" from the program. Three cross-sectional surveys of the Teen Educators have been conducted. The instruments assessed knowledge and interest in occupational health and safety as well as current and future aspirations. The Teen Educators in collaboration with Tufts faculty have implemented an IRB approved occupational health and safety survey instrument of their own design. They have been extremely successful in establishing rapport with immigrant workers and under supervision, to date, have completed over 400 of these surveys. The most successful locations for such interviews have been found in collateral activities (e.g. health fairs) sponsored by community partners. Lessons learned and challenges overcome will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the recruitment, training and curriculum provided to Teen Educators in support of occupational health and safety outreach activities. Discuss the motivations of Teen Educators to join the project and their future aspirations. Identify two advantages and challenges faced in employing Teen Educators in occupational safety and health outreach.

Keywords: Youth, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The materials being presented are finding from and activities related to a study for which I am the PI
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.