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Hmong and Hispanic Communication Network: Building Health Equity Through Bidirectional Communication 

05-03-2022 09:26

An informed public plays a significant role in preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Health care providers and existing systems often do not communicate well with underserved populations. To evaluate and address barriers, the Hmong and Hispanic Communication Network (H2N) was developed to strengthen communication channels and facilitate bidirectional information exchange between public health agencies, health systems, and resource agencies and people in Hmong and Hispanic communities through community health workers (CHWs).

CHWs began community outreach about COVID-19 through individual and group conversations. Topics expanded in response to needs. Encounter data was entered by CHWs into a Qualtrics tool. Data was also collected via notes at weekly CHW meetings. Thematic analysis was utilized and descriptive statistics were calculated.

Data from 352 individuals and 38 groups were evaluated. Stories from CHW meetings were reviewed. Forty-two percent of interviewees had no high school education. Ninety-two percent are not familiar with 211. Fifty-nine percent responded YES they would like to be vaccinated, 24% were UNSURE, and 17% responded NO. The importance of trusted messengers was an overarching theme. Information was used to inform project partners, messaging, and project activities.

Bidirectional communication between health and resource agencies and immigrant communities can be achieved through a CHW model. Trusted messengers are important in effectively reaching vulnerable populations to address health inequities.

Author(s):Norrbom, Corina; Savela, Mariana; Xiong, Doua Chee; Hendrickson, Jesslyn
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Uploaded - 05-03-2022
An informed public plays a significant role in preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Health care providers and existing systems often do not communicate well with underserved populations. To evaluate and address barriers, the Hmong and Hispanic Communication Network (H2N) was developed to strengthen communication channels and facilitate bidirectional information exchange between public health agencies, health systems, and resource agencies and people in Hmong and Hispanic communities through community health workers (CHWs). CHWs began community outreach about COVID-19 through individual and group conversations. Topics expanded in response to needs. Encounter data was entered by CHWs into a Qualtrics tool. Data was also collected via notes at weekly CHW meetings. Thematic analysis was utilized and descriptive statistics were calculated. Data from 352 individuals and 38 groups were evaluated. Stories from CHW meetings were reviewed. Forty-two percent of interviewees had no high school education. Ninety-two percent are not familiar with 211. Fifty-nine percent responded YES they would like to be vaccinated, 24% were UNSURE, and 17% responded NO. The importance of trusted messengers was an overarching theme. Information was used to inform project partners, messaging, and project activities. Bidirectional communication between health and resource agencies and immigrant communities can be achieved through a CHW model. Trusted messengers are important in effectively reaching vulnerable populations to address health inequities.