241108 Health Care Access for Asian Refugees

Monday, October 31, 2011

Joan Jeung, MD, MS , Asian Health Services/Frank Kiang Medical Center, Oakland, CA
Kwee Say, BS , Asian Health Services/Frank Kiang Medical Center, Oakland, CA
Russell Jeung, PhD , Department of Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Many smaller, emerging Asian refugee groups, such as the Burmese and Bhutanese, are being resettled in the San Francisco Bay Area and other urban areas around the US, but their ability to access quality primary care in a medical home with appropriate interpretation is not well studied. From 2009-2011, needs assessment surveys and focus groups were conducted among Burmese and Bhutanese refugees in Oakland, California in order to assess general demographics, self-identified needs (ranging from jobs, English education, income support to health care), services received, and health care access. These needs assessments were conducted in partnership with community-based nonprofits, refugee community leaders, local clinics, public health officials, and local universities (including San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley). This presentation reviews the methods used, as well as the findings of these needs assessments, especially those pertaining to health care access and mental health issues. In light of needs assessment findings, advocacy, grant-writing, and program planning efforts are already underway to increase language access in clinics, provide patient navigation and education, and improve the quality of interpreter services. Currently, needs assessment surveys, focus groups, and interviews are being conducted among recently arrived Burmese and Bhutanese refugees to study health care access in greater detail. These findings will be presented along with survey and health data collected at health fairs for refugees from 2009-2010. Implications for policy and program planning, as well as ongoing collaborative advocacy and planning efforts, will also be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe needs assessment methods (surveys, focus groups, interviews) used to study community demographics, social service needs, and health care access among recently arrived Burmese and Bhutanese refugees in the San Francisco Bay area 2. Explain needs assessment findings, especially those relating to community characteristics, mental health, health care access, and barriers to receiving care 3. Analyze implications for program planning, advocacy, and local health and social policy 4. Describe changes already taking place in the community as a result of needs assessment activities and subsequent advocacy

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Refugees

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a pediatrician working at a Federally Qualified Health Center(FQHC) serving mostly Asian immigrants and refugees, including refugees from Burma. I have volunteered extensively with Southeast Asian refugees outside of work for many years, most recently, helping to organize several health fairs and needs assessments for recently arrived refugees and immigrants from Burma, Bhutan/Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, and Thailand.
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.