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Published on February 21, 2012

Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities Receives $200,000 Grant to Develop African Immigrant Health Training Project

Award from Office of Minority Health to Focus on Infectious and Chronic Diseases, such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Type 2 Diabetes 

Rockville, Md. —The Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities will collaborate with a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop culturally competent tools and resources targeted toward improving the health of the region’s African immigrant community.

The partnership, in conjunction with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center’s National African Immigrant Project (NAIP), recognizes the Center on Health Disparities’ efforts to eliminate health disparities among the region’s underserved. The $200,000 grant provides an opportunity for the Center to further build upon its missionby gaining valuable resources and experience in shaping a culturally competent curriculum that will have a direct impact on African immigrants and refugees living in the community.

According to the NAIP, African immigrants are increasingly faced with chronic diseases such as HIV, diabetes andhepatitis B, which expands the need for effective care and support from health-care providers. However, members of this community are sometimes hesitant to trust their providers or do not understand the health-care information presented to them. The Center on Health Disparities will develop two tools to help tackle this issue:

  • A culturally competent curriculum for health-care providers to utilize when providing care and support to African patients with HIV, hepatitis B and type 2 diabetes and
  • A health education module to teach the African immigrant community to manage their health and illnesses using community resources and by addressing their specific cultural needs.

Additionally, the project will be a key component of Adventist HealthCare's strategy of delivering population-based care by addressing the underlying causes of disease and coordinating care across all stages of the patient’s care experience.

“We are honored to be working with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center’s National African ImmigrantProject on this powerful endeavor,” said Marcos Pesquera, Executive Director of the Center on Health Disparities.“With more than one-hundred thousand African-born residents, the Washington, D.C. region serves as an ideal landscape to focus efforts on tackling health inequity among this population.”

“Giving organizations that work with the African immigrant community pertinent information helps these agenciesto successfully address the health-care needs of individuals who need it most,” said William G. “Bill” Robertson, President & CEO of Adventist HealthCare.

The Center on Health Disparities will be collaborating with community leaders, health-care experts, community clinics and local African immigrant residents in developing the training tools. The Center held its first event on Friday, Feb. 3, with a community advisory board that will help guide their efforts during the 20-month project. Once the tools are implemented at local hospitals and clinics, outcomes will be formally tracked and measured, and made available to other health care organizations.

Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health-care delivery organization based in Rockville, MD, is one of the largest employers in the State of Maryland. The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of peopleand communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Adventist HealthCare includes Shady GroveAdventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Adventist Behavioral Health, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of MD, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Adventist Home Care Services and the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children.

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