Community Health and Wellness Fair: A strategy for Assessment of Social Determinants of Health, Inclusion and Engagement of Newcomers
Community health fair has been used informally as a way of offering health promotion, education, and screening services onsite to underserved and hard to reach populations such as the newcomers. To utilize an annual health fair for the assessment of the overall perception of health status of newcomers in relation to the determinants of health; and to evaluate its effectiveness as an intervention to engage attendees in their community. The 3rd Annual refugees and immigrant's health and wellness resources fair in Allegheny County. A cross sectional study was designed using questionnaires focused on the health and social determinants of health, with few open-ended questions related to engagement and networking. A total of 107 individuals participated in the study. The age ranged between 18-75 years, 46.9% males and 53% females. The largest representations from Bhutan, Arab Middle Eastern countries, and Ghana. Perception of health was examined in relation to other determinants such as language, regular checkups, employment, income, education, access to health, and psychosocial needs. Results revealed that health perception varied by ethnicity, was influenced by English proficiency, access to health, employment, and regular checkups, while education, and income did not show an impact. A qualitative analysis to the narrative responses revealed that the health fair was very effective in breaking the structural barriers with providers as well as for community engagement. The annual health fair was a successful strategy in the assessment of the health determinants and for community engagement of the newcomers.