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Employing teen educators in immigrant occupational health outreach: logistical lessons learned and energizing aspirations uncovered.

Gute-DM; Pirie-A; Vasquez-I; Delembert-F
APHA 137th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 7-11, 2009. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2009 Nov; :203556
Tufts University, in concert with its partners, the Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health (ISPG/H) as the community-based organization and the Cambridge Health Alliance as the health care provider have implemented a four-year program to address occupational health risks to immigrant workers in Somerville, MA. This activity is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A key part of this project leverages existing peer youth and adult educational training and advocacy programs for immigrants. These programs have been successfully implemented by certain members of the ISPG/H (Haitian Coalition, the Community Action Agency of Somerville, and the Brazilian Women's Group) on issues ranging from tobacco use and ambient environmental hazards to employment advocacy and skills building. A complement of middle- and high school age bi-lingual (Spanish or Haitian-Creole proficiency) Teen Educators (N = 14) have been hired, trained and re-staffed as individuals have "graduated" from the program. Three cross-sectional surveys of the Teen Educators have been conducted. The instruments assessed knowledge and interest in occupational health and safety as well as current and future aspirations. The Teen Educators in collaboration with Tufts faculty have implemented an IRB approved occupational health and safety survey instrument of their own design. They have been extremely successful in establishing rapport with immigrant workers and under supervision, to date, have completed over 400 of these surveys. The most successful locations for such interviews have been found in collateral activities (e.g. health fairs) sponsored by community partners. Lessons learned and challenges overcome will also be discussed.
Sociological-factors; Health-hazards; Risk-factors; Sociological-factors; Humans; Men; Women; Adolescents; Training; Environmental-hazards; Tobacco
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APHA 137th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 7-11, 2009
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Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts