Dynamic Programs for Diverse Communities
Working alongside local organizations and community representatives, we design programs and interventions adapted and tested in local communities. We are currently offering four G2L programs for replication.
We improve health by collaborating closely with communities and strengthening leadership in cities and neighborhoods. Research shows that local ownership of programs is fundamental to success – and can help marginalized populations regain power. Check out our services to see how you can leverage our expertise in your community.
If you would like to participate in one of our programs, please contact us.
Community Health Workers
Community Health Workers (CHW) are trusted community members trained as health workers who operate outside of clinics to provide culturally relevant education, referrals and social support for healthy behaviors. The application for CHWs is endless – from exercise classes to financial capability training, community health workers are trained to adapt to the needs of their communities.
Acting as liaisons, CHWs provide essential support in navigating complex health topics and social needs. These individuals develop trainings and forums to support communities in medical, social, and environmental changes. In addition, CHWs can help overcome language and cultural barriers to provide on-site services in situations where clients can’t always make it to a doctor’s office. We have offered CHW programs that suit the needs of each community and address barriers such as language, childcare, transportation, and financial capability.
SeaTac/Tukwila is one of the nation’s most diverse communities – from language and cultural background to country-of-origin, and socioeconomic circumstance. As existing community members from similar cultural backgrounds, CHWs were able to establish trust within the community. Latino and Somali CHWs partnered with a local YMCA and community center to run an 8-week weight loss program that includes weekly physical activity and personalized support over the phone. The CHWs in SeaTac/Tukwila close the gap between clinical care and a healthier lifestyle.
The two communities recently completed their third cycle, marking the mid-point of the program’s projected seven cycles. Our preliminary analysis shows that on average, the Somali class has 29 women in attendance at the Tukwila Community Center. The Latina program, led by a part-time community health promoter, has 19 women in attendance at the Matt-Griffin YMCA. Complete evaluation results to follow.
Global Health Strategies
A Connection Desk bridges social and health services to directly address the underlying issues of poor health outcomes. Serving as a physical space for information and referrals, clients are connected to available resources in the community that will better their health and overall well-being.
Best located within a clinic or hospital setting, physicians direct medical patients in need of social services to a Connection Desk to identify opportunities for food, housing, employment, health insurance, language skills training and other available social services. As a result, physicians and case workers are better able to focus on clinical care during appointments. Staffed by volunteer interns from local universities, the Connection Desk is a cost effective and invaluable community resource.
In May 2013, G2L launched the first Connection Desk in partnership with HealthPoint. South King County hosts the nation’s most diverse communities with more than 70 distinct linguistic groups represented including newly arrived immigrants, refugees seeking asylum, second-generation immigrants, and longtime residents. Communication, lack of cultural competency and effective translation barriers exacerbate challenges around access to services including affordable housing, transportation, employment, and health access.
A physical space in HealthPoint’s lobby, the Connection Desk was designed to be accessed in person or by phone. This service, more accessible than the many social services located 13 miles away in Seattle, helps people identify and obtain food, transportation, employment and language training. Staffed by University of Washington and Seattle University students who speak a variety of languages, this program has provided more than 8,000 resource referrals. And over the last three years, 87% of people who received Connection Desk help have successfully accessed at least one service. This service allows providers to focus on health-related problems and refer social needs to people better equipped to provide solutions. However, many referrals also come from local community based organizations who have come to know the Connection Desk as a community resource.
In 2017, Global to Local is providing support and technical expertise in transferring management of the Connection Desk program to Lutheran Community Services Northwest, a nonprofit human services agency. This ensures long-term program sustainability and local ownership of this resource in this community. Global to Local continues to provide support and technical expertise during the transfer.
Global Health Strategies
Our Mobile Health or mHealth program addresses chronic disease management through the use of a custom mobile phone app coupled with culturally-sensitive remote case managing as part of a patient’s established care plan. The G2L Buddy app can be customized for remote case management in weight loss, smoking cessation, diabetes, and more.
The Mobile Health program builds on the success seen globally with the use of mobile phones as important health care delivery tools and applies it locally to some of our most diverse and low-income communities. With innovative technologies, we’re bridging the patient-provider gap while working within the means of these communities to facilitate long term sustainable changes.
Locally, residents of SeaTac and Tukwila face similar socioeconomic barriers that have contributed to the increased incidence of chronic disease, poor health behaviors, and ultimately; a shortened lifespan. Residents of these cities show significantly higher rates of diabetes than the King County average, and are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from diabetes related complications. SMS-based mobile health interventions have been utilized in countries like India, Bangladesh, and China to deliver diabetes related health information resulting in increased health literacy and improved health outcomes.
With the G2L Buddy app, patients are trained to use the phone app to track their blood glucose levels, diet, exercise, and mood. Case managers provide them with expertise, reminders and encouragement via text messages. G2L recruited 50 type 2 diabetes patients for a University of Washington Study, wherein their app reports were monitored for one year. Participants in the pilot project reduced their HbA1C by 1.26% on average, corresponding to a 45% reduction in the risk of death by heart attack. In another study, the National Institute of Coordinated Health Care found that averted diabetes-related health care costs more than paid for the program. There was a positive rate of return of 10% from the project. Just six months after the end of the pilot study, approximate savings amounted to $556.50 per patient in adverted health care costs.
Global Health Strategy
Trusted community members are trained to serve as “Connectors” between local city government and under-represented communities. These leaders work directly with city staff to ensure equitable community engagement, expanding upon traditional approaches to community engagement—things like town hall meetings and online surveys to be culturally inclusive. The Connectors Program works in tangent with the Leadership Pipeline.
Supporting community leadership is critical in ensuring that community priorities are heard. The Connectors Program has worked very well at providing opportunities for communities to engage in decision making processes. We are also in program design of a Leadership Pipeline that would take this one step further to provide training and a pathway for underserved community members to take on organizational and civic leadership roles themselves.
Over the last two decades a demographic shift has occurred in SeaTac and Tukwila; now more than a third of residents are foreign-born. Historically, community engagement strategies developed for white, US-born residents have proven ineffective in reaching more diverse residents. Government services are still evolving to reach ethnically diverse residents in this area.
The City of Tukwila contracted Global to Local to recruit active, interested participants in its programs to serve as “Connectors” between city staff and under-represented communities. These Connectors participate in a “City 101” training to familiarize them with the roles of the city council, mayor’s office, city departments and the budgeting and comprehensive planning processes. Connectors have been involved in the creation of community gardens, resident satisfaction surveys, and community safety events with the police and fire departments. G2L has provided thousands of hours of mentorship and training to more than 50 new community leaders.
While the Connectors Programs has allowed progress to be made, there remains a great need for increased community leadership and engagement. As G2L’s model evolves, it has become increasingly clear that investing in local leadership is core to the local capacity to achieve change. Our newest program, the Leadership Pipeline, will be co-designed with South King County communities to build capacity for community-led solutions that align with community priorities.
Global Health Strategies