Introduction: Low health literacy in immigrant and refugee patients contributes to reduced health access and overall poorer quality of life in these patient populations. Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) provide necessary health navigation services for immigrant populations, but their role is often overlooked by large healthcare institutions. This project aims to illustrate the unique needs of both immigrant and refugee clients in navigating the healthcare system and CBO staff in assisting them with navigation, and to demonstrate to hospital partners how their services are crucial to adequate care of these communities.
Methods: As part of the Pennsylvania Health Literacy Coalition (PAHLC), four CBOs hosted interns to conduct secondary data analyses from CBO's existing client data, and primary data analysis from staff interviews. Their findings were then synthesized and interpreted further using qualitative thematic analysis.
Results: Each CBO intern focused on unique aspects of their organizations and produced various deliverables. Final analysis of deliverables from all CBOs focuses on three themes. First, it discusses the CBO staff perspective and the unique stressors of their jobs. Next, it outlines challenges from the immigrant and refugee patient perspective navigating US healthcare institutions. Finally, it proposes structural changes to healthcare institutions using current complex care team models.
Conclusion: Findings illustrate how providing equitable medical care to immigrant communities requires the help of CBOs. Future work can use the proposed structural changes and create more feasible next steps for IHLI hospital partners to consider.
Goykhman, Yuliya and Salazar, MPH, Kelsey, "Immigrant Health Literacy Initiative" (2021). Phase 1. Paper 14.