Grant Program: Community Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities, FY 2007
Organization Name: The Cambodian Family
Organization Address: 1111 E. Wakeham Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone Number: (714) 571-1966 Main Number, (714) 973-7185 Project Director
Fax Number: (714) 571-1974
Title of Project: Minnie Street Healthy Changes Program
Project Director: Margaret "Megan" Drda
Description of Organization:
The Cambodian Family is a grassroots, community-based organization, located in Southern California, which was established in 1980 by a group of refugees in order to assist other Cambodians who had survived the Khmer Rouge 'killing fields.' Over the years, the organization has expanded services to include a large number of refugee and immigrant communities with the purpose of improving the social health of those who arrive with multiple barriers and traumatic histories. The goal is to help them rise above their circumstances, heal their pasts and move forward in their lives. The mission is to provide opportunities to refugee and immigrant families to develop their knowledge, skills, and desire to create health and well-being in their lives.
We provide: Community Health Services (Health Accessing, Trauma/Stress Reduction, and Marriage /Relationship Education for Refugee Families); Children and Youth Services (pre-school activities for 2-5 year-olds; after school activities for school-aged youths, focusing on academic improvement, character development, career exploration, and health; and parent education); and Employment-Related Services (ESL, job placement and long-term supportive services). Our clients now come from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, Mexico and more.
Description of project:
The Minnie Street area of Santa Ana is an overcrowded, high crime, low-income "ghetto" for more than 12,000 Cambodian refugee and Latino immigrants. Cambodians are one of the most traumatized populations in the United States, suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and chronic health problems. Both populations lack knowledge about preventing and recognizing disease, skills for navigating the health care system and the personal ongoing support they need for creating healthy habits. The project aims to reduce these disparities through increasing awareness of symptoms, risky behaviors and health-promoting activities, improving access to health care and increasing health-promoting behaviors, while increasing the awareness of stakeholders about minority health disparities.
Bilingual Family Coaches access the community to provide health awareness, education, translation and health assessments. Community partners include: St. Joseph's Hospital, Jamboree Housing Corporation and Lestonnac Free Clinic, who will assist in providing venues, equipment and access to health professionals for education and health screenings. Uninsured clients who are identified as at-risk or symptomatic will receive further medical services. Clients will be encouraged to enroll in the "Health Club" for more intensive behavior-changing, self-management activities, such as reducing or eliminating tobacco, eating healthier foods, exercising on a regular basis and learning skills for reducing stress and increasing inner calm. Cultural competency materials are produced for healthcare providers, including written materials to increase awareness of minority health disparities and a manual for replicating the organizational program.