Bridging the gap: Addressing immigrant health through community-initiated screening events

Online Publication Date:
March 24, 2023
Publication Status:
Awaiting Publication
Manuscript PDF File:

**Forthcoming in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 18.1. All rights reserved.**


Background: In areas of new-immigrant population growth, medical and social infrastructure may be lagging behind the needs of those who do not identify with the majority culture or language. Subsequently, information regarding this population’s health status and access to care is limited. Montana’s Hispanic population is one such group. Despite its low total population, the state has experienced unprecedented growth in the number of Spanish-speaking individuals and families over the last decade.
Objectives: We utilized a community based participatory research (CBPR) framework to emphasize equal partnership between lay community members and researchers to ensure adherence to community priorities and strengthen trust between the two parties allowing for future collaboration. Based on community request, we designed four health screening events to provide needed health prevention services to the Hispanic community.
Methods: Through collaboration with a community advisory board, we created four health screening events to provide basic primary care services, including height and weight, blood pressure, diabetes, and mental health screenings. We partnered with a team of dental hygienists to provide oral preventive health. We conducted a cost effectiveness analysis, comparing our approach to traditional health services. Study variables were analyzed using ANOVA to examine differences in health outcomes between health screening events.
Results: We screened 140 persons and found that 85.7% lacked health insurance and 80.7% lacked a usual source of care. We also found overweight and obesity in 47.1% and 27.1%, respectively, and hypertension in 63.6%. Services provided by the health screening events were up to $239 less expensive than comparable services provided at local health centers.
Conclusions: Working directly with the community, we designed and implemented health prevention events which served to meet a growing need and to identify and address health concerns among the Hispanic immigrant community.