Health in the Park Event | August 30, 2014 | Long Beach, CA

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Today I had the privilege of helping out at a community health event by doing stroke outreach and awareness in Cambodia Town, Long Beach.

Number of people outreached: 40- 50 with 90% being Cambodian/Khmer speaking.

Thoughts:

Attendees were attracted to winning raffles which allowed all tables to give information for stamps that would qualify a raffle a ticket. Some were so focused on obtaining the needed “stamp” that they did not show any interest in listening to what I had to say. What concerned me most about this was that these attendees likely don’t have the best access to healthcare, and likely don’t know what their blood pressure/glucose levels are…so they’re more at risk from having the stroke I’m trying to warn them about. It was frustrating because I knew this information could only help them. But at the same time, in their eyes, am I really helping them with their needs at the moment?

One of the things I constantly see when doing community events is that, while healthcare professionals may come in with “A” and hope that “they” understand “A,” community members have “B, C, and D” concerns that aren’t really dealt with in the healthcare field. In an ideal world, it would be dealt with in the primary care setting.

But when reimbursement rates for Medi-Cal and Medicare patients are at all time lows, and patients can only be seen for 15 minutes. There’s only so much doctors can do.

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Next Time:
I’ll focus more on signs of stroke, but also include key prevention factors such as blood pressure and glucose. I’ll be in contact with primary care docs who serve community members.

But how do I bring awareness into the day to day decisions community members make about their lifestyle? Telling them to eat healthy and exercise is a serious broken record because it sounds like it to me already.

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