Bridging Communities and Clinics Project
Bridging Communities and Clinics (BCC) is a community-based outreach program developed by the Office of Health Disparities (OHD) that was successfully piloted in 2012 through outreach conducted in four Wasatch Front counties. The BCC outreach model was designed to address known inadequacies and inefficiencies of the “traditional” health fair approach to community health outreach.
Between April 2012 and July 2015, BCC focused on outreach among populations affected by significant health disparities and communities historically identified to be at high risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and barriers to healthcare.1 During that period, the Bridging Communities and Clinics model provided over 2,800 screenings through over 130 outreach events coordinated through a dynamic network of 13 referral clinics and 25 community partners in Salt Lake, Utah, Summit, Weber, and Grand counties.
In August 2015 and, because of federal requirements to address geographic disparities, OHD re-engineered BCC to focus on improving access to both medical and oral health services in two of Utah’s most underserved communities: the neighborhood of Glendale and the city of South Salt Lake. Since 2015, BCC has focused on outreach among populations affected by significant health disparities and residents of Glendale and South Salt Lake are no exception as they face considerable barriers to accessing medical health services and oral health services. In these two communities, BCC aims to (1) increase the number of people with a usual primary care provider and (2), increase the number of children, teens, and adults who used the oral health care system in the past year.
Moving beyond distribution of brochures and basic health screenings, the BCC approach employs evidence-based best practices to address themes of access to health services, preventive wellness promotion, and cultural competency by (1) partnering with community-based organizations to coordinate community events and mobilize community members; (2) assembling a diverse Outreach Team made up of trained outreach assistants and licensed oral health volunteers; (3) providing clinically relevant screenings for blood glucose and cholesterol, blood pressure, and oral health at no cost; (4) employing a secure data collection tool to identify community members’ social determinants of health needs; (5) offering appropriate referrals to free, reduced-cost, or income-based primary care and oral health services; and (6) working with a network of organizations to deliver individualized post-screening follow-up to help participants with signing up for medical insurance, finding a primary care provider, scheduling medical and dental appointments, etc.
Since September 2015, the redirected Bridging Communities and Clinics model has provided more than 2,700 encounters through outreach events coordinated through a dynamic network of over 20 partnerships including community-based organizations, oral health systems, referral institutions, and community partners.
1Including the uninsured/underinsured, low-income populations, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, refugee communities/recent immigrants, etc.
This legislative report outlines BCC efforts for the first three years of implementation.
This report outlines the successful outcomes of OHD's innovative new outreach strategy.
It Takes a Village Project
Utah Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (NHPI) experience significantly higher rates of infant mortality compared to the Utah population overall. However, no health promotion interventions exist in Utah or the U.S. tailored to Pacific Islanders to address this and other birth outcome disparities.
Since 2012, the Utah Department of Health Office of Health Disparities (OHD) in collaboration with health care professionals and community partners have been working to address this issue. The final product of these efforts is the It Takes a Village: Giving Our Babies the Best Chance (ITAV) Project. The ITAV Project raises awareness and addresses birth outcomes disparities in the context of Pacific Islander cultural beliefs and practices. From May 2017 to February 2018, the OHD conducted the final implementation and evaluation of the ITAV Project.
173 NHPI community members participated in the project over three phases. Post-intervention, awareness about NHPI infant mortality disparities increased on average by 57 %. On average, knowledge increased for all topics: infant mortality (70%), preconception health (29%), prenatal care (22%), initiating prenatal care (28%), and birth spacing (70%). Additionally, all average self-efficacy measures improved. Adaptations to the curriculum based on qualitative data from reinterations of the program lead to increased community engagement and improved cultural relevance. In the final phase, 100% of participants reported the program was culturally appropriate.
Results demonstrate the cultural appropriateness of the ITAV project at effectively raising awareness, improving knowledge, and increasing self-efficacy. The results establish the project's need and promote widespread dissemination and appropriate adaptation among organizations working with the Utah NHPI communities and for NHPI communities accross the nation. Finalized project content was released online in April 2018 during Minority Health Month.