Helping Minority, Immigrant Populations Navigate Health System

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Washington Post on Tuesday examined how hospitalsare creating education programs that focus on the challenges minority andimmigrant populations face in navigating the U.S. health system. The Postprofiled the Holy Cross Hospital Ethnic Health Promotion Program,which uses community leaders -- including foreign-trained physicians who cannotpractice medicine in the U.S.-- and "laymen to teach prevention in the immigrants' languages and in thecontext of their various cultures."

The goal ofthe program is to reduce "costly emergency room admissions,"according to the Post. Each culture has a different way ofinteracting with health providers, and the "concept of going to a doctorfor checkups is novel to many minorities and immigrants," the Postreports. Many immigrants delay seeking care for conditions that would have beentreatable through office visits, and sometimes patients are unaware that theircondition is treatable because it would not have been in their home country,according to internist Elise Riley, director of the Holy Cross Hospital Health Center at Montgomery College in Maryland(Satyanarayana, Washington Post, 2/5).

Reprintedwith permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at . The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


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