243251 Community Health Workers: An Important Asset in Hepatitis Prevention and Education

Monday, October 31, 2011

Katy Ceryes , Hepatitis Prevention and Education Program, Asian Health Coalition, Chicago, IL
Jaime Slaughter, MPH, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Introduction: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection accounts for 50% of liver cancer cases worldwide. Unfortunately, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) bear a disproportionate burden of this disease; many lack knowledge about HBV and have low screening and vaccination rates. In response to this disparity, the Asian Health Coalition developed the Hepatitis Education and Prevention Program using community health workers (CHWs) as vital assets to targeted underserved AAPI in metropolitan Chicago. The goals of HEPP are to provide: infrastructure and capacity, culturally appropriate outreach and education, screening and vaccinations, and linkage to care to the AAPI community via CHWs. Methods: A unique blend of a community partnership approach (collaboration with community partners, health care providers, and public health agencies) and the community health worker model are being used as primary delivery for the following areas: Hepatitis B awareness, education, screening, and immunization, along with patient navigation. Focus groups were conducted with CHWs to determine strengths, barriers, and lessons learned for the program. CHWs also submitted monthly reports on community members served. Results: Since the program's start, education has been delivered to nearly 8,000 individuals and Hepatitis B screenings have been provided to 3,000 persons. IAdditionally, approximately 400 doses of adult HBV vaccines have been administered to immigrant and refugee AAPI populations in Chicago. The program was expanded in 2008 to serve suburban populations in Illinois. Conclusion: This model has been proven to be an effective outreach tool to increase access to intervention components to an underserved and at-risk population.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define community health worker and their role in our program. Discuss our lessons learned, challenges, and successes with our model. Describe our process of working with community health workers. Demonstrate our quantifiable success with our model (numbers screened, vaccinated, etc).

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work as a Program Assistant in the Hepatitis Prevention and Education Program for the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois.
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.