Yuriko De La Cruz is the Program Manager, Social Drivers of Health, in NACHC’s Population Health Division. This blog originally appeared on the PRAPARE website.
This year’s theme for National Minority Health Month is “Better Health through Better Understanding”, which focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of racial and ethnic groups by creating and providing culturally and linguistically inclusive materials, information, and resources. The Office of Minority Health has compiled facts, resources, and templates for you and your organization to leverage health literacy efforts during the month of April and beyond. We’d like to share two examples of health centers working with their communities to improve health literacy amongst their culturally and linguistically diverse patient populations.
First, we have HealthNet (federally qualified health center) and Hope for Tomorrow (community-based organization) located in Indianapolis, Indiana. They partnered together to improve the health of the local Burmese community, which has recently grown in Indianapolis due to the unrest in Myanmar. Their collaboration focused on developing culturally and linguistically appropriate programs and services to address mental health needs, such as depression, anxiety, and stress. View the feature on the PRAPARE website to learn more about the collaboration and how they worked together to enhance cultural understanding to better serve the Burmese community.
The second partnership we’re highlighting is between Community Clinic (federally qualified health center) and the Marshallese Educational Initiative (MEI) (community-based organization) in Springdale, Arkansas, who came together to focus on the health of Marshallese women in their community. Due to culture differences, Community Clinic and MEI noticed that in the Marshallese culture, women often forget about their own health as they are responsible for taking care of others.
Through their collaboration, the organizations were able to host focus groups to better understand the Marshallese culture and tailor care and services to be culturally and linguistically appropriate. Listen to their journey in this podcast.
Both health center highlights demonstrate the importance of partnership, and leveraging the skills and experience of each partner to ensure diverse patients have access to culturally and linguistically inclusive care.
If you and your team are wondering where to start in your health literacy efforts, below are helpful resources:
- Healthy People 2030 provides an in-depth overview of health literacy at the personal and organizational levels, also identifies key metrics to track progress related to health literacy.
- The “Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations” from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a great starting point to understand how well your organization is doing with each key attribute, and resources to build upon what is currently in place.
Our team would love to hear about your team’s health literacy efforts! Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and the NACHC SDOH (Social Drivers of Health) team will reach out to learn more about your efforts in the health literacy space.