San Diego State University

In the Community

Institute for Public Health

Working with SD’s United Women East African Support Team (UWEAST)

client in pool

photo courtesy KPBS San Diego

Dr. Amy Pan, IPH Senior Researcher, has a long history of working with San Diego’s refugee and immigrant communities including East African, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander.  For several years now, Dr. Pan has provided on-going support for a number of programs initiated by the United Women East African Support Team (UWEAST).  One of the latest projects involved developing and implementing a program focusing on mental health in the East African community.  In year one, a community needs assessment was conducted.  In year two, a community education program and other interrelated programs were designed, advised by the results of the needs assessment, and implemented to foster emotional wellbeing among East African women.  Dr. Pan’s role was to provide technical assistance to UWEAST staff on instrument development, interviewing skills, data analysis, program development and evaluation.

Currently, Dr. Pan, in collaboration with UCSD Community Pediatrics, is assisting UWEAST with the evaluation of a unique, recently created Swimming Program for Muslim women at the Copley YMCA in City Heights.  The foundation of the evaluation plan involves interviewing the women participating. Dr. Pan is developing interview standards and guidelines to assess the impact the program has on its participants.  UCSD will interview 40 women and girls at the beginning of their participation and 6 months into their participation. Interviews will be audiotaped if participants give consent. Interview data will be analyzed by Dr. Pan and the results incorporated into a final report.


The Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties (HASD&IC)
Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Phase I and Phase II

Ia doctor with patientn September 2012, the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties (HASD&IC) contracted with the IPH to conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) for San Diego County. This CHNA was a collaboration between HASD&IC and seven local San Diego hospitals, and was officially called the HASD&IC 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment. Representatives from all seven hospitals formed the CHNA Advisory Workgroup who provided input throughout the CHNA process. The 2013 CHNA used a multi-level, hospital-focused analysis to identify the priority community health needs in San Diego County. The results of the HASD&IC 2013 CHNA are available at HASDIC’s website.

As part of their ongoing efforts to create stronger partnerships within San Diego communities, HASD&IC and the participating hospitals designed a collaborative follow-up process (Phase II) to review methodology and gain a deeper understanding of the 2013 CHNA results. The goal of Phase II was to ensure that the results of the 2013 CHNA accurately reflected the health needs of the community. HASD&IC again contracted with the IPH to provide assistance with the implementation and interpretation of Phase II through two main activities:

  • Conduct community dialogues to share the results of the 2013 CHNA with the community and collect community member feedback on hospital programs that were guided and informed by the results of the 2013 CHNA.
  • Create and analyze an electronic survey of community leaders and health experts who reviewed the methodology and findings from the 2013 CHNA.

school children runningOverall there was positive feedback from all Phase II dialogues as well as a high degree of community interest in participating in hospital programs. However, the majority of participants had not heard of the hospital programs that were described. Moreover, other barriers to participation cited during the community dialogues were location, language, transportation and fear of documentation requirements.

Based on the feedback from the health expert and community leader survey, the results of the 2013 CHNA accurately reflected the health needs of San Diego County and provided useful information to help survey respondents develop programming in their respective organizations. However, respondents identified several areas that could be improved in future CHNAs, such as including a larger sample size, broadening the number of health needs addressed, increasing diversity in the sample in terms of age, ethnicity, and geographic location, and including more sectors of the community. The majority of respondents agreed that a more focused examination of the priority community health needs identified in the 2013 CHNA would be beneficial in future CHNAs. The final report for Phase II will be available on HASD&IC’s website by spring 2015.   The IPH anticipates that we will continue our work with HASD&IC in the foreseeable future.




last updated: 3/13/2015