Utah Health Department Report Collects Minority Residents’ Views on Public Health Issues
Utah minorities are concerned about a lack of health insurance, access to medical care and risks for certain health conditions, according to a report released by the Utah Department of Health, the Deseret News reports.
The 2008 Qualitative Report describes 17 focus group meetings held over several weeks with 180 residents about minorities' views on health insurance, medical care, health and safety risks, and the rate of tobacco use. April Young Bennett, a multicultural health specialist, said, "The primary message is that Utah's racial and ethnic communities are very worried about the lack of health insurance." She added, "We also learned they want to have a say in public health decision-making and to be reimbursed for the time they spend on boards and committees." Members in the focus groups also said that health messages need to be concise and culturally tailored and that they would prefer more personal communication than mass marketing.
The yearlong project helped officials get a more accurate count of the number of uninsured minorities in the state. The report also examines the effectiveness of public health outreach efforts that specifically target blacks, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders. In addition, the report details how the department will incorporate suggestions from the focus groups to improve health care access and provide additional wellness assistance. Health department officials said they will begin to sponsor smaller, annual community forums and use other methods to consistently seek community input on public health issues (Thalman, Deseret News, 10/22).
The report is available online (.pdf).