223205 Taking the pulse of a community: African-American/Black parents' experiences with accessing pediatric care in West and South Berkeley, California

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rhea Elina Laughlin, MPH (c) , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Oscar G. Macias Martinez, MPH (c) , HIV Prevention, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Aurora Lopez, MPH (c) , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco
Suzanna Reiss-Končar, MPH (c) , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Background: Challenges with accessing ongoing primary pediatric care place low-income African-American/Black children, ages birth to 5, in Berkeley California, at a particularly high risk for developing poor health outcomes, including asthma, obesity, and infant mortality. Objective: A community assessment was conducted to understand the perceived opportunities and barriers that African-American/Black parents of young children in West and South Berkeley face when accessing pediatric care. The assessment explored the extent to which the Medi-Cal bureaucracy, primary care safety net providers, and the practice of cultural humility, aid or hinder access to health care.

Method: Convenience sampling was used to recruit Medi-Cal eligible, African-American/Black parents of young children. Sixteen parents were surveyed at a local community health clinic and twenty parents participated in one of four focus groups.

Results: Findings show mutually trusting patient-provider relationships, uninterrupted Medi-Cal coverage, and accessible appointments facilitate access to care for young African-American/Black children. Conversely, experiences with racism, classism, and a lack of cultural humility by safety net providers pose challenges to accessing care.

Conclusion: To facilitate improved access to health care, low-income African-American/Black parents in Berkeley need health programming and services rooted in cultural humility and tailored to their sociocultural backgrounds, health beliefs, and lived experiences.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Decribe the procedure for assessing the perceived opportunities and barriers to accessing ongoing, primary pediatric care for Medi-Cal eligible, African-American children age, 0-5, in West & South Berkeley, California. Discuss how experiences with Medi-Cal bureaucracy, community clinics, and cultural humility facilitate access to quality health care for low-income, African-American/Black children in West & South Berkeley, California.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as a consultant and provided technical assistance during the year long process that lead to the development of the described community health assessment
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.