240455 Filipino Advocacy and Organizing for Health Project: The importance of language concordance between provider and patient in building healthier Filipino communities

Monday, October 31, 2011

M. Stephanie Sario , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Christine Araneta, PA , Asian Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Jennifer Lee, MPH , Deputy Director of Operations, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Filipinos are the second largest Asian American group in the U.S. and have immigrated in large numbers since the early 1900s. Despite their size and historical presence in the US, the Filipino community remains largely understudied. In California, 69.8% of Filipinos living at or below 200% of federal poverty level currently have hypertension. To address health disparities facing the growing Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in Alameda County, California, Asian Health Services (AHS), a community health center in Oakland, California, partnered with Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ), to implement the Filipino Advocacy and Organizing for Health Project (FAOH Project) in Union City. This project conducted a health needs survey identifying the most pressing health problems and barriers facing the Filipino community. An assessment of cultural health beliefs and other social factors highlighted the distinct need for obesity and cardiovascular risk reduction interventions, as well as tuberculosis prevention. The study further emphasized the need for Tagalog medical interpreters and bilingual primary care doctors. Although many Filipino patients can speak English comfortably, the study revealed preference for providers that can speak their language. This session will discuss how the FAOH project pioneered three outcomes critical to promoting a healthier Filipino community: 1) report backs about the project, which organized and engaged the community to access preventive health screenings, 2) organization of a nutrition campaign to raise awareness on healthier eating habits, and 3) development of a Filipino patient navigator position in AHS addressing the language barriers between patients and providers.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the most pressing health needs for Filipinos as reflected in local, state, and national data cohort comparisons. 2. Articulate recommendations for interventions in chronic disease prevention for Filipinos. 3. Address the importance of having bilingual health care providers and its role in building healthier Filipino communities.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Interpreters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the outreach worker and co-author of the Filipino Advocacy and Organizing for Health Project.
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.