Health Program News
On January 27, 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) hosted an oral healthcare workshop for members of the City Heights refugee and immigrant community. Through this workshop, NSDI was able to better understand the challenges that refugees and immigrants face when seeking dental care and to identify opportunities to improve access to dental providers.
In 2014, the California Department of Public Health reported that the primary preventable health condition among newly settled refugees is dental caries. Failure to receive preventive care can result from a host of factors, including limited English proficiency and economic and/or cultural barriers.
The NSDI Refugee Oral Health Initiative (ROHI) previously determined that language continues to be one of the greatest barriers for refugees and immigrants when accessing dental and general healthcare services. In one particular case study, the only Burmese dentist in the San Diego community had retired, leaving many with no Burmese-speaking dentist to visit for regular dental check-ups. Not many dental providers offer translational services or speak the refugees’ native language, and the ones that do often have long wait times for appointments. For example, one workshop participant stated that he had to wait up to 40 days for an appointment opening with a provider who speaks his language. Approximately 81% of refugees in attendance also reported that they would go to the dentist more often if more offices had staff that spoke their native tongue.
Oral Health is an integral component of overall health and well-being, however, essential healthcare information and services can be difficult to access for San Diego’s most vulnerable communities. The largest resettlement site in the state of California, San Diego is home to more than 150,000 refugees. As part of its ongoing efforts to conduct preventative health outreach and education, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) is committed to addressing chronic conditions that burden refugee and immigrant communities.
NSDI believes that access to holistic, culturally sensitive health and wellness programs are necessary for our primary populations to reach their full potential and to thrive. In 2016, NSDI launched the ROHI, Refugee Oral Health Initiative program, in partnership with the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). Through ROHI, NSDI aims to address oral health disparities that burden underrepresented and underserved populations.
Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) believes that access to holistic, culturally sensitive health and wellness programs are necessary for our community members to reach their full potential and to thrive. Because an average of 70% of our constituents are women, NSDI is committed to addressing health disparities among refugee and immigrant girls and women. Women’s HEALTH—Health, Education, and Lifestyle Training Hub—will increase the awareness of and access to essential sexual and reproductive health services.
Female Genital Cutting (FGC)
Female genital cutting (FGC), sometimes referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM), refers to “any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” Young girls are at greatest risk of being subjected to FGC. Statistics reveal that most FGC procedures take place on girls between the ages of 5 and 14.
It is estimated that one in three refugees living in the United States has suffered from a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
The psychological impact of forced migration and its subsequent effects on health and well-being are undoubtedly hard to measure. It is widely known that refugees are at greater risk of developing mental and psychosocial disorders, as a result of physical and emotional trauma. The disruption of familial and social networks combined with limitations on resources, increases the risk of developing acute and chronic diseases. Refugees also face unique post-migration stressors related to cultural, linguistic and structural barriers to self-sufficiency.
On October 13, 2016, the Texas Health Institute, in partnership with the California Pan Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) and Health Access, presented preliminary findings on the California Marketplace Health Equity Assessment Tool (M-HEAT) Initiative.
The M-HEAT Initiative was designed to
- evaluate marketplace health equity programs and initiatives
- understand marketplace progress and performance
- provide external, community-based validation of marketplace programs, progress, and performance toward health equity
It is that time of the year again!
Starting November 1, 2016, any Californian can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2017 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. It is important to review your health plan during this renewal period because plan options and rates can change. You may qualify for a different plan if your income, family size, or address have changed within the last year.
During renewal and open enrollment, you can make changes to your coverage or switch health plans by contacting the nearest Certified Enrollment Counselor». If you want to keep your same health plan and coverage, please provide consent, and you will be automatically re-enrolled.
Make sure to enroll by December 15, 2016, for coverage to take effect by January 1, 2017.
On September 21, 2016, representatives from Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the Office of Women’s Health Female Genital Cutting (FGC) Community-Centered Health Care and Prevention Project kickoff meeting. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has allocated more than $6 million dollars to address the effects of female genital cutting over the next three years.
On September 17, 2016, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI) gave an oral presentation at the United States Conference on African Immigrant & Refugee Health». Entitled Revamping Refugee Community Health Workers: An Approach to Enhancing Medi-Cal Utilization in San Diego, CA, the presentation focused on the Health MAPP (Map and App), a joint effort with the San Diego Refugee Forum» health task force.
According to a new report entitled Taking a Bite Out of Health Inequities: Promoting Equitable Oral Health Policies in Communities of Color» (CPEHN, 2016), the State of California has more dentists per capita compared to other states. However, the state ranks worst in the nation in oral health disparity between poor and affluent communities. Of the nearly 15,000 licensed dentists in California, “only 14% work in community clinics, which are generally located in underserved areas and serve low income communities of color” (CPEHN, 2016, 7).
In January 2016, in collaboration with the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network» (CPEHN), Nile Sisters conducted two oral health needs assessment workshops for refugees and immigrants in the San Diego region. The goal was to evaluate the participants’ understanding of oral health and dental coverage as well as to determine potential barriers to accessing equitable dental care. This is part of a statewide effort by View entire story.»
On October 7, 2015, Nile Sisters joined other members of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) at a meeting of the Having Our Say (HOS) coalition in Los Angeles, California. Discussion topics focused on communities of color and their stake in health care reform, including progress of policy priorities that focus on providing universal and affordable health care coverage for all Californians. The meeting also reflected on the coalition inception, history, transition, future opportunities, components needed to create healthy communities, and ideas for incorporating them into current HOS coalition principles.