241122 Prepare today for peace of mind tomorrow: Emergency preparedness among Latino immigrants

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gricelda Gomez, BS , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Xochitl Torres, BA , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
David Busolo, MPH, RN , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Sany Rangel, BA, MA , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Thelma Gamboa-Maldonado, DrPH (c), MPH, CHES , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Anna Lisa Vargas, BA , Poder Popular, Poder Popular of Coachella Valley, Coachella, CA
David T. Dyjack, DrPH , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Susanne Montgomery, PhD, MPH, MS , Behavioral Health Institute, Loma Linda University, Redlands, CA
In California, natural and man-made disasters are particularly common with its earthquakes, wildfires, and seasonal floods. County health agencies have taken an active approach through the Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness & Response (EHEPR) Departments to help communities to prepare, respond and recover from these crises. However, underserved communities like ones found in Eastern Coachella Valley (CV), California are often not included in the resource allocation, planning, or preparedness for complex emergencies. Communities in CV are predominantly agricultural, made up of Latino migrant farm workers with limited English proficiency. These communities have fewer resources, high infrastructure vulnerabilities, geographical, cultural, and language barriers. This pilot study tests the use of community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach as a link between the Riverside County Public Health Department and the rural communities in CV. Formative research was conducted using key informant interviews, confirmatory focus groups, windshield surveys, and GIS demographic mapping. Data was transcribed, coded, and analyzed. Two quantitative baseline surveys were administered to EHEPR workforce to determine their perceived role in emergency preparedness for low income and language isolated communities. Another survey was administered to household residents, selected using random block sampling, to determine their capacity to deal with emergencies. Findings have informed the development of a culturally and linguistically appropriate community program based on a lay community health worker (promotora) model. This study aims to forge a more active partnership between local health departments and residents of underserved communities with the aim of creating a sustainable community-focused emergency preparedness system and environmental justice.

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

Learning Objectives:
Describe at least three ways through which active partnership between Latino immigrant communities and local health departments can be used to promote disaster resilience. Identify three challenges or barriers that program planners could encounter when promoting emergency preparedness programs among Latino immigrant populations. List three facilitators that aid in working with Latino immigrant populations when promoting emergency preparedness programs. Define at least three culturally and linguistically appropriate training methods of engaging Latino immigrant populations to increase emergency resilience that can be replicated in other underserved migrant populations.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have participated in the collection and analyzing of the data, as well as the overall progress of the 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.