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Background | Mission | Goals | Program Description

Background

In the past few years, Montgomery County has become more ethnically diverse, with increases in the absolute number of the minority population and also in the variety of cultures and languages; hence, more linguistically and culturally appropriate services are needed for the County's changing population. Because of these challenges, a health promoters program was created to help reduce language and cultural barriers and assist AAHI in outreaching and educating the diverse Asian American subgroups. The Asian American Health Initiative trains bilingual health promoters so that they, in turn, will be able to become health educators to their communities.

Mission

The mission of the Health Promoters Program is to help eliminate health disparities by increasing access to care for Asian Americans in Montgomery County by delivering culturally and linguistically competent health services.

Goals

  1. To recruit bilingual health promoters to increase Asian Americans access to AAHI Programs and other health services.
  2. To provide trainings in order to increase the knowledge and understanding of various health topics and programs among bilingual health promoters.
  3. To assist AAHI with outreach efforts in the community
  4. To reduce cultural and linguistic barriers faced by Asian Americans in healthcare.
  5. To unify the diverse groups of Asian American health promoters to collaborate and build stronger partnerships among the different Asian communities.

Description of Program

What is a health promoter?

In order to understand the Health Promoters Program, the definition of a health promoter must be clear. A health promoter is a lay person who is trained and expected to perform health promotion, education and service delivery within a limited scope. They will assist in reducing the cultural and linguistic barriers among groups which have traditionally been denied adequate health care due to these factors.

Training

Health Promoter Training FY09

All health promoters receive comprehensive training regarding AAHI and its programs. They have introductory education on several types of cancer, osteoporosis, hepatitis B, and diabetes. Health promoters are also given trainings on HIPAA, blood pressure, and outreach strategies, among other topics. Additionally, they attend trainings provided by Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA). These trainings bring all the health promoters together including those from the African American Health Program and the Latino Health Initiative. The topics of MOTA trainings deal with outreach strategies and education that are applicable to all ethnic minorities.

To further the knowledge of the Health Promoters and success of programs, monthly meetings are held. This gives AAHI the opportunity to receive feedback from the Health Promoter and to provide additional training and education.

Health Promoters and AAHI

Health Promoter Training FY09: Overview of AAHI's Health Promoters Program

There are several ways in which Health Promoters provide assistance to AAHI. Trained health promoters are able to speak with the community one on one at events and provide education, they attend AAHI sponsored health fairs and seminars, and teach AAHI staff about culturally sensitive issues that need to be addressed in certain settings. One of the most important things that a health promoter does for AAHI is to provide access into isolated communities. Because health promoters are community members themselves, they are able to be the liaison between AAHI and different community or faith based organizations. Once a health promoter is fully comfortable with understanding how AAHI works, they are even able to set up health fairs and health seminars for AAHI on their own. AAHI staff will always accompany them to these outreach events. Health promoters serve as an important factor AAHI, since the county offers many resources that are not language accessible. Since not all staff and providers are able to communicate with clients in their language, health promoters bridge the gap between patient and health staff.

The Health Promoters program has proved to be successful and beneficial to AAHI's operation. In order to effectively outreach to the community, AAHI often goes directly to the individual community's temples, churches, and gatherings and host health fairs. It is at these places that health promoters are needed the most.

If you are interested in becoming a health promoter or want to know more about AAHI's health promoters program, please contact the AAHI or fill out the Health Promoters Application and fax to 240.777.4564.

Health Promoters FY10:

Shamim Begum Victor Pattianakotta
Ravi Behl Peter R. Pei
Leigh Chang Apitchaya Pimpawathin
Mae Chew Thanh Quach
Jean Ko Ko Gyi Rani Saini
Chi Hon Sonia Sekhar
Molly Hong Geetha Senthil
Tae Hyun Kim Suparna Shah
Melody Lee Johnny Shen
Wing-tsz Lee Lily Shen
Dinh Luong Samantha Tangchaiburana
Sufia Mannan Yunmei Elaine Ting
An Ngo Jean Toh
Esther Pak Theresa Truong
Preethi Panakal Maggie Tung
Darsha Patel Xiaogeng Wang
Visvas Patel  

For more information on upcoming outreach and health fair events, please click here

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