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Program for immigrants

HARLEM VALLEY — The Foundation for Community Health has funded an innovative and collaborative program to help the immigrant community in eastern Dutchess County.The foundation has funded Catholic Charities Community Services to assemble various women’s groups of kinship circles in eastern Dutchess County. The groups will meet monthly and the women will be encouraged to see themselves as a resource to each other, sharing collective experiences and identifying the kinds of information that they want to learn through presentations that will be arranged by them and for them. Solange Muller, the principal researcher on “Immigrant Health Initiative: A Study of Health Care of Recent Immigrants in Dutchess County,” partially funded by the Foundation for Community Health, will work with the groups to help improve knowledge about health-care services, nutrition, chronic diseases, prenatal care and the establishment of a primary care provider. This project is in response to one of the major findings of the study indicating that immigrant women are the entry point for engaging the entire family in primary care and eventually leading them to regular preventive health visits. In addition, the kinship circles will help to address another key finding of the study by creating a supportive environment that will help to ease the feelings of loss and isolation that is created by the stress of separation from family, community and the culture in their native countries. Funding the study and the consequent kinship circles is an example of their ongoing effort. The full study, and a corresponding issue brief recently published by the foundation, can be viewed on its website at www.fchealth.org. Submitted by Gertrude O’Sullivan, The Foundation for Community Health, director of communications & special programs.

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