227352 Miami Community Health Survey: Access to Care and Opportunities for Primary Care in an Underserved Urban Community

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kenneth Obiaja, MD, MPH , Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL
Dorothy F. Parker, MHS , Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami, Miami, FL
David J. Lee, PhD , Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Marsha Stevens, MPH , Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Division of Research & Information / Data Coordinating Center, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Noella Dietz, PhD , Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Monica Webb Hooper, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Erin Kobetz, PhD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
A partnership was established between the University of Miami (UM) and community organizations in Liberty City, a low-income Black neighborhood in Miami, to address health disparities. To better understand community members' perspective and to learn about barriers to health care utilization, a random household survey was conducted with 275 adults (40% male, 60% female) who live in the Liberty Square Housing Project a community located in the heart of Liberty City. The survey was a collaborative effort involving UM researchers and a community advisory board that was created to formalize this partnership. This presentation describes the study findings related to health care utilization and barriers to care, and outlines the partnerships multidisciplinary approach to reduce the encountered barriers and improve access to care. Most respondents (86%) reported good-to-excellent health status, 81% had a place to get routine health care (48% went to a clinic or doctor's office), and 80% saw a doctor within the past two years. Barriers to getting care included problems getting appointments, long waits at clinics, and no transportation. Respondents got health information from television (22%), health fairs (21%), and other community members (19%). Approximately 20% reported they could not afford medical care, prescription medication or eyeglasses in the past year. To address the need for services, UM faculty and staff worked with the community advisory board to develop and distribute a resource guide with information on health centers, transportation and, social services. A health fair was held at a neighborhood primary care center. Health fairs will be held each year as part of the UM School of Medicine's Department of Community Services (DOCS) program. Health fairs are staffed by medical students, and volunteer nurses, doctors and other health workers of the University of Miami/Jackson Health System with an interest in primary and preventive care. Researchers at UM are now using pilot data from the survey for grant applications to address other disparities, including tobacco use and cervical cancer screening By maintaining a lasting presence in the community, health promotion and disease prevention activities can be brought directly to the area eventually helping to remove barriers, improve access to care and, eliminate health disparities.

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

Learning Objectives:
Describe the findings from the study related to health care utilization and barriers to care. Explain some of the steps being taken to reduce barriers to care and utilization of services.

Keywords: Access to Care, Barriers to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I worked as a senior research associate participating in the design, implementation, and analysis of the study. I am currently a resident family physician and work as a volunteer with the Department of Community Services participating in health fairs in the area.
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.