In recent years, the diversity of the South Bay has been greatly enriched by our expanding Chinese community--a demographic that makes up nearly 9 percent of the combined service area for both of El Camino Hospital's main campuses. We established the Chinese Health Initiative (CHI) at El Camino Hospital to address the unique health disparities in this growing population and to accommodate cultural preferences in education, screening and the delivery of health care.
Task Force Sets Goals
In fall of 2009, El Camino Hospital launched a multi-disciplinary task force to assess the health needs and disease-prevalence rates in the Chinese population. Working with El-Camino Hospital-affiliated Chinese physicians and community leaders, we arrived at some clear goals:
- To raise awareness of health issues that affect the Chinese community, including hypertension, hepatitis B, lung cancer, and liver cancer, which is often associated with chronic hepatitis
- To develop programs for inoculation against hepatitis B and for health screenings and education
- To enhance our cultural sensitivity as an organization and improve the Chinese community’s experience at El Camino Hospital
- To build relationships between the Chinese community, El Camino Hospital and our affiliated physicians
- To forge working partnerships with Chinese churches, temples, and community organizations in order to keep up with the Chinese community’s changing health care needs.
We have created a CHI Advisory Board comprised of 17 community and business leaders and 13 physicians. The Advisory Board includes three sub-committees: Clinical Programs, Outreach/Marketing and Patient Experience.
Recent Chinese Health Initiative activities include:
- Hosting screenings and events for the Chinese community, in collaboration with El Camino Hospital’s Stroke Center, Women’s Hospital, and Cancer Center. We look forward to continuing and expanding our screenings for hepatitis B, stroke risk, breast cancer and other conditions. We also will invite Chinese-speaking physicians from our CHI physician referral network to present workshops on topics of interest to the Chinese community.
- Providing hepatitis B screening and education, in collaboration with Asian Liver Center and the Herald Cancer Care Network to provide Hepatitis B screening and education.
- Distributing educational information at key Chinese community events, including the September Fall Festival, Alzheimer’s Association Annual Chinese conference, Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association 2010 Annual conference, and Tzu-Chi winter Health Fair.
Enhancing Cultural Sensitivity
One of the most important goals of the Chinese Healthcare Initiative is to ensure a culturally appropriate patient experience for our Chinese patients. El Camino Hospital currently provides phone translation for Chinese-speaking patients in the hospital, and we offer rice porridge as an in-patient breakfast choice.
One critical aspect of cultural sensitivity that has traditionally been overlooked is end-of-life care. We are collaborating with the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care, so we can provide culturally sensitive end-of-life care for Chinese patients.