142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Opening access for Burmese and Karen immigrant and refugee populations in California: A blueprint for integrated health service expansion to emerging Asian communities

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Kimberly Chang, MD , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Joan Jeung, MD, MS , Asian Health Services/Frank Kiang Medical Center, Oakland, CA
Phyllis Pei, MA, MBA, RN , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Kwee Say, BS , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Julia Liou, MPH , Program Planning and Development, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
George Lee, MD , Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Huong Le, DDS, MS , Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
In the last decade, an annual average of 350,000 to 450,000 Asian Legal Permanent Residents entered the US, while a steady increase in Asian refugees also occurred, with over fifty thousand in 2010.  Of these refugees, an exponential influx from Burma occurred, from 128 in FY 2002 to nearly 17, 000 in FY 2011.  In FY 2010 and FY 2011, refugees from Burma constituted the largest single group being resettled in the US.  They began to arrive in the San Francisco Bay Area in increasing numbers in 2007.  An estimated 500 have resettled in this area, especially in Oakland of Alameda County. Asian Health Services (AHS) is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that provides culturally and linguistically competent health care to low-income, un- and under-insured patients, including the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across Alameda County, California.  In 2010, AHS opened a clinic which expanded access in an organized way to emerging Burmese/Karen refugees, providing primary care, integrated dental and behavioral healthcare, with on-site language and cultural interpreters.  There are now over four hundred patients from Burma enrolled. Rooted in its dual mission of service and advocacy, AHS’ decision to expand culturally and linguistically competent services to these communities reflects a commitment to achieving health equity for the AAPI population.  Rather than waiting for a threshold percentage of individual patients to enroll before creating programs specific to the needs of these communities, this article will describe an intentional process of leading inclusion of new communities into primary care at an FQHC.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the converging internal and external factors which enabled a community health center to expand access to the emerging Burmese and Karen refugee populations, such as the community partnerships and coalition building, and internal capacity building and funding process. Describe the operational processes required to expand integrated primary medical, behavioral and dental services to these emerging communities. Discuss the importance of developing culturally and linguistically competent services that includes not just the languages of the groups, but also incorporates their cultures, takes into account their forced immigration (e.g., trauma-informed care) and addresses the acculturative stress of resettlement. Discuss the challenges involved with expanding language and cultural access on a community level in an federally qualified health center (FQHC).

Keyword(s): Health Care Access, Refugees

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the site director of the clinic where integrated expansion of health services to Burmese and Karen immigrants and refugees occurred.
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.