Tag: strategies

BRIDGES: Bringing Global Health Expertise to Rural Washington

Over the past decade, Global to Local has successfully applied lessons from global health to serve residents of South King County. While we’re committed to that work for the long term, we’re also excited to share what we’ve learned with others throughout Washington state and beyond!

Last December, we kicked off a seven-month effort to identify lessons from global health that might assist in overcoming barriers to health in rural Washington communities. Under a contract with the Washington Department of Health, we collaborated with groups in five counties in Central, Northeast, and Southeast Washington to explore how global learning might enhance ongoing community health improvement work.

A key principle of G2L’s model is that communities are experts in the barriers to health that they face, so we started by studying health data collected by the communities, and by listening to community residents. These conversations were facilitated by the Kittitas Community Health Network in Kittitas County, the Healthy Ferry County Coalition in Northeast Washington, and the Southeast Washington Health Partnership in Garfield, Whitman, and Asotin counties.

Washington State map highlights communities that partnered with Global to Local on the BRIDGES project
Image adapted from the Washington State Department of Health’s website.

After identifying key health concerns, we scanned the global health literature for approaches to reduce health disparities in rural Washington. We used a strategic framework from a landscape assessment and literature review of global health interventions that we commissioned from PATH, a Seattle-based global health innovation organization, in 2017. We also partnered with the Strategic Analysis, Research & Training (START) Center, a research and consulting center housed in the University of Washington Department of Global Health, to help search for global health solutions.

Issues concerning access to care and financial insecurity were among the top health barriers identified across all Washington state rural communities. Other common health barriers included a lack of behavioral health services despite an increasing demand, and issues among youth such as bullying, inadequate access to childcare, and obesity.

Robin Read, Executive Director of Kittitas County Health Network, leads a focus group among
community partners to listen to local health barriers.

We shared 11 global health strategies that might be of interest to rural communities. Three of these strategies emerged as the most potentially useful and transferable approaches to mitigate the impact of barriers to health identified in each community: deployment of community health workers; use of mobile health technology; and task shifting or task sharing of services typically provided by physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other highly trained health care professionals.

We shared both general ideas and examples of specific projects with each community partner, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the utility of the global health strategies.    

“I think your recommendations around Community Health Workers, task sharing, and mobile apps are spot on for our communities.”

Robin Read, Executive Director of Kittitas County Health Network

The Washington Department of Health will provide a report describing the BRIDGES work to the Washington State Legislature, which funded the effort.

Learn more

To learn more about BRIDGES, contact Alyssa Reed at alyssa@globaltolocal.org.

Jobs for Health

Global to Local: Jobs for Health

We don’t talk much about our Jobs for Health program since our role at G2L was largely to facilitate partnerships and increase capacity for existing organizations (global health strategy #4: empower community based organizations). Lately, however, we’ve been making such exciting progress that we can’t help but share an update.

Jobs for Health is a pilot program between Upwardly Global and Highline College’s Welcome Back Center. The goal was to help skilled immigrants overcome employment barriers while educating decision-makers about skilled immigrants and helping them to adopt more effective and inclusive practices and policies. Jobs for Health specifically supports skilled healthcare employment, connecting immigrants with Swedish, HealthPoint, Providence, and Seattle-King County Public Health.

Now, here’s the really exciting part. Already this year, the program has seen 5 job placements of highly skilled immigrants and refugees with an average salary of $77,000 (global health strategy #5: link health to economic development). The effects of a program like this have already been proven to be far-reaching, influencing not just the job seekers but the employer, the economy, and society at-large. Read more about this exponential impact at Upwardly Global.

#STANDBYREFUGEES

Incorporating Financial Capability in CHW Work

Global to Local - News

We’re partnering with The Prosperity Agenda and BECU to incorporate financial coaching and savings into the CHW health coaching (global health strategy #5: link economic development to health). TPA will be training the CHWs and BECU will be working with us to develop savings products, and possibly a lending circle. So excited for a site visit from Northwest Areas Foundation next week as they consider providing additional support to this program.

Featured in Devex: Building Community Voice & Participation

We published an opinion piece for Devex last month that neatly summarizes our approach using our Community Health Worker program as an example of how programs evolve at G2L. With a focus on enhancing local voice in program development and implementation, G2L Executive Director Adam Taylor shares 3 key elements of success: hire and invest in local people, adapt solutions locally, and find donors who believe in community. He stresses the last element by saying “a community-led approach asks donors to also believe in the power of community, and invest in building community voice and participation.”

Read the full article at Devex.