212369 Needs Assessment for Micronesians seeking health care in Hawaii

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rebecca Aron Knight , Department of Public Health, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Objectives: The recent influx of Micronesian immigrants to Hawai`i poses a significant challenge to the state health care system and health professionals who serve them. Little knowledge exists about how to effectively reach and serve this client base. Additionally, the added cost to Hawaii's health care system was $86 million from 1996-2000. The purpose of this study was to see what two community health care centers that currently have a high client base of Micronesians require to better assist the Micronesians communities here in Hawaii. Methods: The methods used in this study were literature reviews, key informant interviews, and focus groups with Micronesians, as well as the health care workers that serve them. Results: The biggest barrier for the health care providers is the lack of cultural awareness regarding the Micronesian population. In addition, there is a shortage of Micronesian interpreters here in Hawaii. The shortages of interpreters equates to longer than average appointments, overworked interpreter staff, and miscommunication between doctors and patients. Also, health care providers currently have health information in only three out of the five Micronesian languages. Discussion: To better serve the Micronesian population there needs to be specificity in cultural training for all Hawaiian health care providers and greater access to cross-cultural resources. Additionally, the Micronesian population needs cultural barriers decreased through assistance with clinical appointments, proper medical documentation, health information outreach, and translation services.

Learning Objectives:
To evaluate the needs for Micronesians when seeking health care. To identify what physicians and Micronesians need to improve the health care needs of the population.

Keywords: Health Centers, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked on a need assessment for a class on this topic.
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.