Master's Project Title:

Evaluating the Minnesota Department of Health Refugee Health Program Community Health Education Project

MCH Student:

Laura Doggett

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.