Vulnerability, Risk Perception, and Health Profile of Marginalized People Exposed to Multiple Built-Environment Stressors in Worcester, Massachusetts: A Pilot Project

Title: Vulnerability, Risk Perception, and Health Profile of Marginalized People Exposed to Multiple Built-Environment Stressors in Worcester, Massachusetts: A Pilot Project

Author: Downs, Timothy J., Ross, L. Goble, R. Subedi, R. Greenberg, S. and Taylor, O.

Publication: Risk Analysis 31(4): 609-628

Date: 2011

Description: This article presents research on the vulnerability of the population of the Main South and Piedmont neighborhoods of Worcester, Massachusetts to various health impacts of built environment stressors. The stressors identified were: pollution stressors, physical environment stressors, social stressors and economic stressors. The results of this research were based on 80 surveys designed and conducted in partnership with local organizations. Social stressors followed by physical stressors were perceived to have the highest impact by survey participants, including psychosocial stressors of crime, violence and drug use in their communities. These neighborhoods include many recent refugees and immigrants, and the authors indicate that marginalized populations are especially vulnerable to external stressors.

Keywords: Built environment, disease burden, health disparities, marginalization, risk perception, vulnerability, health

Cataloged By: Patrick Barnosky / B.J. Perkins

The Latino Mental Health Project: A Local Mental Health Needs Assessment

Title: The Latino Mental Health Project: A Local Mental Health Needs Assessment

Author: Esteban V. Cardemil, Sara T. Adams, Joanne L. Calista, Joy Connell, José Encarnación, Nancy K. Esparza, Jeanne Frohock, Ellen Hicks, Saeromi Kim, Gerald Kokernak, Michael McGrenra, Ray Mestre, Maria Pérez, Tatiana M. Pinedo, Rosemary Quagan, Christina Rivera, Patsy Taucer, and Ed Wang

Publication: Administration and Policy in Mental Health. Vol. 34, No. 4: 331–341

Date: 2007

Description:  This article presents the results of a mental health needs assessment of Latinos in Worcester, Massachusetts, which was a conducted in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and several health and education organizations. This study is based on 166 interviews with Latinos living in Worcester, which demonstrated high rates of mental health related problems, including many “culture-bound syndromes” and low rates of access to mental health services, especially for anxiety, depression and PTSD. Barriers to accessing mental health services included instrumental barriers, attitudinal barriers and language/cultural barriers. The Latino community is comprised of a high percentage of new or recent immigrants, which have been shown in other research to be especially vulnerable to mental health problems and have limited access to mental health services.

Keywords: Needs assessment; Latinos; Service utilization; Barriers; Mental Health

Cataloged By: Patrick Barnosky / B.J. Perkins

Empowering ELLs through strong community-school district partnerships for enrichment

Title: Empowering ELLs through strong community-school district partnerships for enrichment

Author: Rivera, Jessica; Donovan-Pendzic, Esperanza and Marion, Mary Jo

Publication: Annenberg institute for School Reform, VUE, no. 41

Date: 2015

Description:  This article offers an analysis of an English Language Learner (ELL) summer camp in Worcester, Massachusetts serving Worcester Public School middle and high school students.  The program was a collaboration between the school district, higher education institutes, and community organizations including a Spanish language television program.

Keywords: English Language Learners (ELL), education, Worcester Public Schools

Cataloged By: Selina Sikder / B.J. Perkins

Preparing teachers to equitably serve ELLs in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Preparing teachers to equitably serve ELLs in Worcester, Massachusetts

Author: Ottow, Sarah

Publication: Annenberg Institute for School Reform, VUE, Summer 2013

Date: 2013

Description:  This article provides a description of the Worcester ELL Teacher Residency (WELLTR) program – a partnership between the Worcester Public Schools, Cambridge College and the Center for Collaborative Education. The residency program was created to address the problem of insufficient numbers of teachers trained to teach the growing number of English Language Learners in the Worcester Public Schools.

Keywords: English language Learners (ELL), Worcester Public Schools, education

Cataloged By: Selina Sikder / B.J. Perkins

A tale of two countries: Childhood lead poisoning, industrialization, and abatement in New England

Title: A tale of two countries: Childhood lead poisoning, industrialization, and abatement in New England

Author: Bailey, Adrian J.; Sargent, James D. and Blake, Megan K.

Publication: Economic Geography, Vol. 74

Date: 1998

Description: Childhood lead poisoning continues to be a significant public health concern in New England. This study investigates the spatial variation in childhood lead exposure within two industrial counties, Worcester County, Massachusetts and Providence County, Rhode Island. The analysis focuses on differences in industrialization, demographics and public health interventions.  The findings revealed that lead exposure is complexly linked to patterns of urbanization, industrial heritage and demography and that a history of abatement can reduce lead exposure. This complexity is apparent in the relationship between race/ethnicity/nativity and lead exposure between the two counties. As one of their conclusions, the authors call for more research to better understand this relationship.

Keywords: childhood lead poisoning, industrial history, abatement, medical geography

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder / B. J. Perkins

A systematic integrated approach for crafting poverty reduction and sustainable development projects

Title: A systematic integrated approach for crafting poverty reduction and sustainable development projects

Author: Downs, Timothy J.

Publication: Natural Resources Forum. Vol. 31

Date: 2007

Description: This article presents a systematic integrated approach to poverty reduction and sustainable development that can frame issues, simplify complexity and guide responses. The approach incorporates five theories: social learning theory and participatory methods, vulnerability theory, systems thinking, sustainability assessment, and capacity building. The author refers to the approach as SVSSC. The article provides three case studies to complete its summary of relevant literature. One case study uses the SVSSC approach to investigate environmental justice and health problems in the Main South and Peidmont neighborhoods in Worcester, Massachusetts. The immigrant populations in these two neighborhood include many resettled refugees.

Keywords: immigrants, refugees, poverty reduction, sustainable development, social learning, capacity building, vulnerability

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder / B. J. Perkins

Health literacy, acculturation, and the use of preventive oral health care by Somali refugees living in Massachusetts

Title: Health literacy, acculturation, and the use of preventive oral health care by Somali refugees living in Massachusetts

Author: Geltman, Paul L. ; Adam, Jo Hunter; Penrose, Katherine L. ; Cochran, Jennifer; Rybin, Denis; Doros, Gheorghe; Henshaw, Michelle and Paasche-Orlow, Michael

Publication: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Vol. 16

Date: 2013

Description: This study investigates the impact of English language proficiency, health literacy and acculturation on access to and use of preventive dental health services among Somali refugees in Massachusetts. To explore the impact on Somali refugees, the authors employed a cross sectional survey and interviewed 439 Somalis who are 18 or above and had arrived in the US no more than 10 years ago. The authors hypothesized that a higher degree of acculturation and better English language skills would make utilization of dental health services more likely. The analysis indicates that a high acculturation level has a significant association with the use of preventive dental care.

Keywords: refugees, preventive dental care, acculturation, health literacy

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder / B. J. Perkins

Primary prevention for resettled refugees from Burma: Where to begin?

Title: Primary prevention for resettled refugees from Burma: Where to begin?

Author: Haley, Heather-Lyn; Walsh, Meredith; Tin Maung, Nang H.; Savage, Clara P. and Cashman, Suzanne

Publication: Journal of Community Health

Date: 2013

Description: This research article argues that active primary prevention initiatives may help recently arrived refugees better maintain health in a new environment by keeping their own healthy cultural habits and building an awareness of harmful habits to avoid. The researchers developed an exploratory research project in conjunction with medical and nursing students and the Worcester Refugee Association Project (WRAP) to explore the knowledge of recently arrived Burmese refugees in Worcester, MA concerning eating behaviors, physical activity and sleep habits. With community members, the authors collaboratively developed and pilot tested a healthy living curriculum in focus groups.  The findings identified seven themes as particularly relevant: food choices, living environment, health information, financial stress, mobility/ transportation, social interaction and recreation, and hopes and dreams.  The study concluded that the refugees had a basic knowledge of healthy lifestyles but desired more specific information about recommended guidelines for healthy living and how to follow them. The results also suggest that community health workers would be effective in delivering this information since the refugees are familiar with and comfortable with community health outreach workers from their experience in refugee camps. The results of the research may prove useful for future health promotion with refugees from Burma.

Keywords: refugee health, prevention, healthy eating, physical activities, community-based participatory research

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder / B. J. Perkins

Challenges of policy and practice in under-resourced Asian American communities: Analyzing public education, health, and development issues with Cambodian American women

Title: Challenges of policy and practice in under-resourced Asian American communities: Analyzing public education, health, and development issues with Cambodian American women

Author: Tang, Shirley

Publication: Asian American Law Journal, Vol. 15

Date: 2008

Description: This article argues for the importance of gathering and analyzing disaggregated data on education, health, and community development for Cambodian American communities in the United States. The author uses demographic analysis and the stories of Khmer American women in the Metro Boston area to understand social, economic and cultural issues facing the broader Khmer community.

http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/aalj/vol15/iss1/s

Keywords: Cambodian, Cambodian American, education, health, Khmer American, women

Cataloged by: Alison Fulmer / B. J. Perkins

Differences in knowledge of Hepatitis B among Vietnamese, African-American, Hispanic, and White adolescents in Worcester, Massachusetts

Title: Differences in knowledge of Hepatitis B among Vietnamese, African-American, Hispanic, and White adolescents in Worcester, Massachusetts

Authors: Wiecha, John M.

Publication: Pediatrics, Vol. 104, No. 5

Date: 1999

Description: This study assesses the level of knowledge that Vietnamese adolescents have of Hepatitis B and how that relates to the knowledge of young people of other races and ethnicities. The study utilized a questionnaire to collect data from 2,816 middle-school and high-school students in Worcester, Massachusetts. The results of the study showed that adolescent knowledge of Hepatitis B was low overall and that the factors that most affected knowledge included race, age, level of education and academic performance, knowing someone with Hepatitis B, having been taught about Hepatitis B and degree of acculturation. The author concludes that adolescents, especially Vietnamese young people, should be given more health education on Hepatitis B.

Keywords: adolescents, adolescent health, health education, Vietnamese, Hepatitis B

Cataloged by: Alison Fulmer / B. J. Perkins