Treatment, education, conference part of Pacific Islander center's first year

Posted: March 27, 2016 at 1 a.m.

Lillian Chonggum of Springdale dances a traditional Marshallese dance Saturday, during Welcoming NWA: Celebrating the Cultural Diversity of Northwest Arkansas in Springdale.

Lillian Chonggum of Springdale dances a traditional Marshallese dance Saturday, during Welcoming NWA: Celebrating the Cultural Diversity of Northwest Arkansas in Springdale.

The Center for Pacific Islander Health's first year has been busy. It helped more than 100 Marshallese residents receive free diabetes treatment, trained 40 Marshallese to become medical interpreters and assisted several churches in planting gardens since opening last summer.

Medical conference

The Gathering for Pacific Islander Health is May 24-26 in Fayetteville. The conference will bring together researchers, health care providers, public health leaders and community stakeholders who work with Pacific Islanders to share research, programmatic work, knowledge and lessons learned.

Go to www.PacificHealthGathering.com for more information or to register.

Health grants

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest’s research department secured several grants to study Marshallese health issues.

• The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute awarded the medical school a $2.1 million grant to develop a culturally appropriate, family-centered model of diabetes management education and to study whether the new model is more effective in helping the Marshallese manage diabetes than traditional self-management programs.

• The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute also provided the school a $250,000 grant that will help Pacific Islanders interested in health research connect with experienced researchers. The Community Engaged Research Training program partners 10 researchers and 10 Marshallese for training. The teams will receive ongoing mentorship for a year after the training.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the research department a three-year, $2.99 million grant to study health disparities in the Marshallese and Hispanic communities in Benton and Washington counties. The goal is to connect the area’s Hispanic and Marshallese residents with greater access to healthy foods and disease management and prevention programs. The school is in the second year of the program.

Source: Staff report

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