Strategies Used by Local Health Departments to Better Serve Diverse Communities

Social and Scientific Systems, Inc.
April 15, 2010
Schur, C. and J. Lucado

Over the past few decades, the Unites States has seen dramatic changes in the diversity of its residents, including growth in the proportion of immigrants and the range of cultures and languages represented. Immigrants and other underserved populations experience disparities in health outcomes, including higher rates of chronic and infectious disease. They may also hold different views on health practices, face language barriers, and have fewer financial resources. Local health departments (LHDs) play an integral role in their communities by providing essential public health services, including monitoring the community’s health status, mobilizing community partnerships to ensure people are linked with needed personal health services, and educating people about health issues. This brief discusses findings from a project studying LHDs that had developed an innovative program to reach members of a socioculturally or demographically diverse population in their community.

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