226962 Impact of Haiti's earthquake on the South Florida Haitian community

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Erin Kobetz, PhD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Janelle Menard, PhD, MA, MPH , Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL
Gabrielle Hazan, BA , Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Guerda Nicolas, PhD , Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, University of Miami School of Education, Coral Gables, FL
Larinus Pierre, MD, MPH , Center for Haitian Studies, Miami, FL
Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Background Though the recent earthquake in Haiti and ensuing devastation has been the focus of worldwide attention, this disaster has personal relevance for most, if not all, residents of Little Haiti, a large ethnic enclave in the Miami metropolitan area.

Objective To understand the disaster's impact on this community, we are conducting a comprehensive assessment that examines the earthquake's effects on residents' health and psychological well-being. Failing to do so may perpetuate existing health disparity experienced in Little Haiti and among Haitians throughout South Florida, more generally

Methods Assessment data will be collected by Community Health Workers (CHWs) who are of Haitian descent, speak English and Haitian Kreyol fluently, and are trained to participate in research. In late February-early March 2010, the CHWs will interview 1000 residents of Little Haiti using validated measures of grief and stress. Data will be instantly entered into a tablet computer and later analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Results Given the recent occurrence of the earthquake, we do not yet have results to report. We are currently finalizing our survey instrument and training the CHWs on how to best recruit and interview participants, as well as, appropriately refer distressed individuals for care.

Conclusion However, once collected and analyzed, assessment data will provide unique insight into the earthquake's impact on Diasporic communities such as Little Haiti, as well as, lay the foundation for necessary, future community-based interventions to promote health and healing.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the health and psychological effects of Haiti's earthquake on Haitian immigrants residing in South Florida Assess Haitian immigrants' psychological well-being using validated measures of grief and stress

Keywords: Disasters, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principle Investigator for this project and designed the methodology and instruments to be used in data collection. I will also oversee data analysis.
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.