Date of Defense:
July 18, 2013
Background: Refugees are faced with many obstacles during resettlement in the United States, including health concerns. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Refugee Health Program’s Community Health Education (CHE) Project partners with community-based organizations (CBOs) to conduct health education activities with the goal of improving the health of refugees and increasing the capacity of CBOs to conduct health education.
Objectives: The objectives of this analysis were to evaluate the needs of the CHE Project participants and identify approaches for improving the CHE Project.
Methods: Data from a focus group of CHE Project participants were analyzed to meet stated objectives. The qualitative responses from the focus group were coded and categorized to underscore the main themes of the responses.
Results: The findings from this focus group highlight the needs in health promotion and education for small, grassroots organizations serving diverse communities. Participants highlighted the need to increase partnerships with both community members and healthcare professionals and the need for more resources, which includes time, money, information and supplies. Reliable resources were emphasized as the primary need for successful health education activities.
Recommendations: Small CBOs need to have access to reliable and flexible funding opportunities that provide technical assistance and support. MDH should continue and expand support for the CHE Project and promote this model within the organization. More networking opportunities should be made available to CBOs and healthcare professionals.