The Global to Local Initiative: Improving Health in South King County
Phase 1: May 2010 - April 2011
The Washington Global Health Alliance, Swedish Health Services, Public Health Seattle & King County and HealthPoint are partnering with communities in SeaTac and Tukwila to develop the Global to Local Health Initiative (G2L). The initiative will serve Tukwila and SeaTac residents who have little or no access to basic health services and economic opportunity. G2L will build on the expertise of Washington State's global health institutions, bringing home strategies that have proved effective in addressing health in developing countries. G2L will pilot approaches to improve individual and community health outcomes, lower health care costs, and empower economic development. See examples below of several successful global health strategies.
- Engage local communities to define health-related needs
- Identify possible global health strategies
- Initiate activities in response to community needs and resources
Phase 2: May - December 2011
- Develop project strategies
- Provide support for partnering organizations
Phase 3: Jan. 2012 - April 2016
- Provide services to targeted communities
- Evaluate project
Role of the community
Success of the G2L initiative is dependent upon active community participation. The role of the community will include:
- Participation in identifying major health needs and related issues that affect health
- Community leader membership on the G2L Governance Committee
- Providing project guidance through participation on a Community Advisory
What kind of Global Strategies might work in South King County?
With the increasing diversity of language, culture, ethnicities and poverty in South County Global to Local (G2L) has the potential for implementation locally. G2L strategies will be co-developed with the community as needs are identified.
The following are examples of strategies that have proven to be successful throughout the world:
Community health workers: Individuals are recruited and trained to educate people in their community on important health topics, provide basic health and preventative health care, and to connect people to existing services. CHWs are particularly effective because they have a deep understanding of what is important in their communities, speak the local language and understand and work within cultural, traditional and spiritual practices. Promotores de Salud has a long history in Latin America although the approach has been used all over the developing world.
Microcredit: Poverty represents one indicator of inequity in health status. Individuals with health problems are often likely to live in poverty. By accessing microloans, families are able to generate income, making it possible for them to invest more in their health. Studies have shown economic improvements as having an effect on improving health as families produce more income. There are now microfinance institutions in virtually every country throughout the world.
Immunization campaigns: When children are not fully immunized, their own health and that of the community is at risk. By deploying health teams directly to communities it is possible to quickly end vaccinate children who have not been reached.
Mobile health: Mobile phones and technology is increasingly being used to reach isolated communities and families who are unable access services. Families in some countries are now able to receive health information via text messaging or visual instruction and observation through the use of mobile phones. Costs for patients and health care providers is reduced.
Positive Peer Approach: In some communities there are individuals and groups that have found ways to problem solve and become successful, despite having fewer resources, and facing the same obstacles as their peers. By forming educational groups, other community members can learn successful approaches from their peer leaders that will help them to make improvements in their own homes.