Online Program

Initiating a Relationship between a Local Health Department and the Latino Community in a Non-Traditionally Diverse County

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Casey Monroe, MSW, Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh, PA
Michelle Kurta, PhD, MPH, Epidemiology and Bio Statistics, Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh, PA
Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh, PA
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania recently experienced the emergence of a Latino community.  Since 2000, there has been a 50% increase in the Latino population. According to 2013 census estimates, there are now 22,167 Latino residents representing about 2% of the total County population. Historically, the Latino population has only accounted for a small proportion of the population and there has been little effort to understand their health needs. In 2014, as part of the community needs assessment, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) initiated a dialogue with members of the Latino community in order to understand their health concerns.   Lacking staff and language capability, ACHD connected with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh who were actively involved with the Latino community. These individuals acted as ambassadors to engage the community and provided ACHD with consultation on the development of a Latino community meeting. ACHD gathered data relevant to the Latino community, and translated materials into Spanish. Publicity channels included local churches, Spanish language radio show and community newsletters. The meeting was conducted in Spanish and co-led by ambassadors. Residents attending represented 5 Latin American countries (Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia) as well as Puerto Rico.  The resulting recommendations included: (1) improve visibility of ACHD services; (2) gather data about Latino health outcomes; (3) improve accessibility of translation services; and (4) provide public health education opportunities. This community meeting was a critical first step in building trust with a newly emerging Latino community and develop an agenda for future work.

Learning Areas:

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 public policy

Learning Objectives:
Formulate a relationship between a local health department and burgeoning Latino community in an area with historically limited diversity Identify emerging health needs among Latinos and determine the factors that have contributed to health inequalities Design strategies to strengthen the relationship between the local health department and Latino community through improving data collection efforts, fostering trust, and initiating collaborations

Keyword(s): Latinos, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Executive Policy Advisor I have been responsible for developing a strategic process for a community health assessment and prioritization process, which included several community health meetings. I was responsible for initiating a relationship with the Latino community in Allegheny County and set up a community health meeting in Spanish. Previously, I have worked with Latinos in North Carolina in abuser treatment programs.
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.