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SoLaHmo

Somali, Latino and Hmong Partnership for Health and Wellness (SoLaHmo)

The SoLaHmo Partnership for Health and Wellness (SoLaHmo) is a program of West Side Community Health Services (West Side). We are made up of Somali, Latino and Hmong community members and health care professionals in partnership with health science researchers. SoLaHmo is an example of how community members, researchers and health care providers can work together to make a difference in community health by tapping into community strengths and wisdom, while preparing community members to be equal partners in research.

SoLaHmo was founded on the belief that research partnerships between community members, health care providers and academics can provide a strong foundation for maximizing community health.

SoLaHmo’s mission is to build upon the unique cultural strengths of Somali, Latino, and Hmong communities to promote health and wellness through research, education and policy.

SoLaHmo’s vision is dedicated to the reality that Somali, Latino, and Hmong communities have the knowledge, skills and power to participate as equal partners with researchers and health care professionals to maximize community health and wellness.

SoLaHmo’s Four Health Priority Areas are: 1) Prevent Chronic Diseases; 2) Promote Healthy Youth and Families; 3) Improve Mental Health; and 4) Increase Culturally Competent Health Care.

As a community engagement process, CBPAR can actively engage community and lead to action and change via several mechanisms.

  • CBPAR research techniques are skills that community members can use to identify information that is relevant to the health of their community.
  • CBPAR collaborative and non-hierarchical processes foster social network connections that can support effective action.
  • CBPAR connects knowledge with change because the goal of producing the knowledge is to produce action.
  • Cultural Asset Assessment of Somali, Latino and Hmong Communities in St. Paul MN 2010-2011. Funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN Foundation.
  • Healthy Kids, Healthy Lives. This project is designed to understand Somali, Latino and Hmong cultural perceptions of healthy diet and exercise among families of children ages 3-12 years old, and to generate information that will lead to a future obesity prevention program. Academic Partner: Chrisa Arcan PhD. Funded by U Care Foundation.
  • Development of a Multicultural School-Based Approach to Substance Use Prevention and Resiliency Promotion for Somali, Latino, and Hmong Youth. This project is to understand how teachers can promote youth resiliency in Somali, Latino and Hmong middle school and high school students. Academic Partner: Michele Allen, MD. Funded by PHDR and CTSI, Office of Community Engagement for Health.

Our Current Multi-Community Research:

  • Promoting Health and Positive Youth Development for Somali, Latino, and Hmong Youth. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, R24 (1/2013-12/2015). Overall Goals: to use a community based participatory research (CBPR) approach to understand how educators serving Latino, Somali and Hmong youth in St. Paul can best promote educator-student connectedness and positive youth development. Co-Principal Investigators Michele Allen, MD MS and Luis E. Ortega, MEd.
  • A Qualitative Study of Families of Children with Autism in the Somali Community: Comparing the Experiences of Immigrant Groups. Funded by the Minnesota Department of Health (12/2012-12/2013). Overall Goals: Understand the cultural- and resource-based aspects of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that are unique to the Somali community, and to compare their experiences with Latino and Hmong families in Minnesota. Academic Partners: Donna McAlpine, PhD and Kathleen Call, PhD.
  • Somali, Latino & Hmong Radio Stories about Children’s Healthy Eating and Exercise: A SoLaHmo Pilot Study. Funded by the University of MN Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Community Collaborative Child Health Pilot Grant (9/2012-8/2013). Overall Goals: Conduct a pilot study that examines program effectiveness and acceptability of radio stories, a health communication intervention that addresses family eating behaviors and physical activity among immigrant Somali, Latino, and Hmong families with 3 to 18-year-old children in St Paul, Minnesota. One story per ethnic community will be developed and tested with a focus on type-2 diabetes prevention. Academic Partner: Chrisa Arcan, PhD.
  • Somali, Latino & Hmong Radio Stories about Children’s Healthy Eating and Exercise. Funded by a U Care Fund of Minnesota Research Award (9/12-8/13). Overall Goals: Conduct a pilot study that examines program effectiveness and acceptability of radio stories, a health communication intervention that addresses family eating behaviors and physical activity among immigrant Somali, Latino, and Hmong families with 3 to 18-year-old children in St Paul, Minnesota. One story per ethnic community will be developed and tested with a focus on childhood obesity prevention. Academic Partner: Chrisa Arcan, PhD.

Current Community Outreach Initiatives:

  • Healthy St. Paul Families: Utilizing Latino, Hmong and Somali Cultural Strengths to Connect Communities and Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. Funded by a Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota, Connect for Health Challenge Grant (9/2012-8/2013).

Individual SoLaHmo Members’ Research: Additionally, SoLaHmo members have their own research partnerships with University of Minnesota faculty:

  • Intimate Partner Violence in the Hmong Community. Research Partners: Mikow Hang and Tai Mendenhall, PhD.
  • Somali Women’s Initiative for Sexual Health. Research Partners: Amira Ahmed and Bean Robinson, PhD.
  • Cervical Cancer Prevention among Somali Women. Research Partners: Amira Adawe and Rahel Ghebre, MD.
  • Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity among Latino Youth. Research Partners: Maria Navas, Rosaura de la Torre and Jamie Stang, PhD.
  • Development of a Teacher-Focused Substance Use Prevention and Resiliency Promotion Intervention for Latino Youth. Research Partners: Luis Ortega, MEd and Michele Allen, MD.
  • Pharmacogenomic Investigations in the Hmong. Research Partners: Kathie Culhane-Pera, MD, Pachia Vue, MPH, and Robert Straka,Pharm D..

Publications:

  • Allen ML, Culhane-Pera KA, Pergament SL, Call KT. A capacity building program to promote CBPR partnerships between academic researchers and community members. Clinical and Translational Science. December 2011: 4(6):428-433.
  • Allen M, Call K, Pergament S, and Culhane-Pera KA, Facilitating Research Faculty Participation in CBPR: Development of a Model Based on Key Informant Interviews. Clinical and Translational Science. 2010;3(5):233-237.
  • Allen MA, Culhane-Pera KA, Pergament SL, Call KA. Partners in Research: Community and Faculty Training Curricula to Prepare Partners for CBPR Collaborations. July 2011 CES4Health Internet Publication
  • Culhane-Pera KA, Allen M, Pergament SL, Call K, Adawe A, dela Torre R, Hang M, Jama F, Navas M, Ortega L, Vue P, and Yang TT. Improving Immigrant and Refugee Health in Minnesota with Community-based Participatory Action Research. Minnesota Medicine. April 2010: 54-57.

Presentations and Posters:

  • Allen M and Ortega LE, School-based positive youth development promotion for Somali, Latino and Hmong youth. North American Primary Care Research Group 2012: 40th Annual Meeting. December 3, 2012. New Orleans, LO. (Presentation)
  • Arcan C, Pergament S, Rosas-Lee M, Ortega LE, Thao MS, Xiong MB, Vang C, Culhane-Pera KA. Somali, Latino, and Hmong Parental Perceptions and Practices of Raising Healthy-Weight Children. 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Diparities. National Harbor, MD. December 2012. (Poster)
  • Hang M, Omaar L, Ortega LE, and Pergament S. Healthy St. Paul Families: Utilizing Somali, Latino & Hmong Cultural Assets to Promote Healthy Diet & Physical Activity. Many Faces of Community Health Conference. October 25, 2012. (Poster)
  • Rosas-Lee M, Arcan C, Pergament S, Culhane-Pera KA. Somali, Latino, and Hmong Parental Perceptions and Practices of Raising Healthy-Weight Children. University of Minnesota Community of Scholars Program. October 19, 2012. (Poster)
  • Allen M, Rosas-Lee M, Hang M, Ortega LE, Geele W, Culhane-Pera, KA, Pergament S. Development of a Multicultural School-Based Approach to Substance Use Prevention and Resiliency Promotion for Somali, Latino, and Hmong Youth. University of Minnesota CTSI Pilot Award Grantee Poster Session. September 2012. (Poster)
  • Thao TS, Allen M, Ortega L, Rosas-Lee M, Geele W, Pergament S, Hang M. Development of a Teacher/School-Focused Substance Use Prevention and Reiliency Promotion Intervention for Latino, Hmong and Somali Youth: Preliminary Analysis of Youth Focus Group Interviews. University of MN, Minnesota Future Doctors Poster Presentation Session. July 2012. (Poster)
  • Ethical Protections in Community Engaged Research: Research Ethics Workshop for Community Partners, in partnership with Michigan Institute for Community Health Research and the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute. April 21, 2012. (Workshop)
  • Vang C; Hang M; Rosas-Lee M; Abdullahi S; Adawe A; Ahmed A; Anglin L; De la Torre R; Geele W; Lanata G; Lor S; Navas M; Ortega LE; Robles C; Santos J; Thao MS; Vang P; Vue PC; Warsame W;Xiong MB; Culhane-Pera KA; Pergament S. Strengths and Assets of Somali, Latino and Hmong Communities. University of Minnesota Medical School Student Poster Session.
  • Allen M, Ortega L, Geele W, Hang M, Rosas-Lee M, Pergament S, Culhane-Pera K. Development of a Teacher-Focused Substance Use Prevention and Resiliency Promotion Intervention for Somali, Latino and Hmong Youth. CTSI Pilot Award Grantee Poster Session. 2011. (Poster)
  • Pergament S, Ortega L, Ahmed A, Hang M, Navas M. Community Participatory Research by Somali, Latino, and Hmong Communities: SoLaHmo. Teenwise Minnesota Annual Conference. Brooklyn Center, MN. May 6, 2011 (Workshop).
  • Culhane-Pera KA, Ortega L, Ahmed A, Hang M, Navas M, Pergament S. SoLaHmo Partnership for Health and Wellness: CBPAR for Community Health Centers. Many Faces of Community Health Conference. St Louis Park, MN. October 29, 2010. (Workshop)
  • Allen M and Culhane-Pera KA. Partners in Research: Report from NIH Grant North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Meeting, Seattle Washington, November 15, 2010. (Poster)
  • Allen M, Culhane-Pera KA, Jones C. Pharmacogenomic Testing in the Hmong Community via CBPAR. Many Faces of Community Health Conference. St Louis Park, MN. October 22, 2009. (Workshop)
  • Allen M and SoLaHmo members. Partners in Research: Maximizing Immigrant and Refugee Health through Community-based Participatory Action Research. Partners in Research Meeting – National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD. October 25, 2009. (Poster)
  • Allen M, Culhane-Pera KA, Call K, Pergament S. Partners in Research: Maximizing Immigrant and Refugee Health through Community-based Participatory Action Research. Partners in Research Meeting – National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD. October 25, 2009. (Poster)

Recent Accomplishments:

  • 18 Community Researchers trained in community based participatory action research methods, qualitative research methods, ethical human subjects research, cultural asset mapping, and participatory data analysis.
  • Co-facilitated the first ever Ethical Human Subjects Research Training for Community Partners, with the Office of Community Engagement for Health in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of MN. For the first time in MN history, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of MN agreed to recognize a certificate of completion of this training as satisfying the requirement for researchers in ethical conduct of human subjects research.
  • Participated in the University of Minnesota CTSI’s first Community Research Institute. SoLaHmo co-facilitated an Ethical Conduct in Human Subjects Research Training for Community Partners with the Office of Community Engagement for Health in the CTSI at the University of MN in November 2012. Three SoLaHmo members attended the 6-week Institute.

Newspaper Articles:
Hang M, Thao MS, Xiong MB, Vang C. SoLaHmo: Building on Cultural Strengths for Safe, Healthy & Strong Families and Communities. Hmong Times Online. April 8, 2012.

Podcasts:
AM950 Radio KTNF

Trainings:
We can offer trainings to community members and community based organizations who are interested in forming their own research partnerships and conducting their own research:

  • Community Based Participatory Action Research Training for Community Partners
  • Interviewing Techniques: Focus Groups & Key Informant Interviews
  • Participatory Data Analysis (Qualitative)

Consulting Services:
We can offer consulting services to academic and community-based researchers, and community based research partnerships:

  • Facilitation of Community-Academic Research Partnerships
  • Facilitation of Research Design & Methodology
  • Focus Group Facilitation (English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong)
  • Key Informant Interviewing (English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong)
  • Transcription/Translation of audio recordings (English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong)
  • Participatory Data Analysis (Qualitative)

SoLaHmo Members:
Khalid Adam (Kay), BA, Community Researcher
Amran Ahmed, BA, Community Researcher
Awo Ahmed, BA, Community Researcher
Maria Arboleda, Community Researcher
Xai Gao Sheng Chang, Community Researcher
Naima Dhore, Community Researcher
Hodan Dualeh, BS, Community Researcher
Mariam Egal, MPH, Community Researcher
Mikow Hang, BA, Community Researcher
Sulekha Ibrahim, Community Researcher
Niramattata Ly, JD, Community Researcher
Alyssa Moua, BA, Community Researcher
Chia Moua, BA, Executive Committee Member
Maria Navas, Executive Committee Member
Marty Navarrete, Community Researcher
Walter Novillo, JD, MBA, Community Researcher
Luis E. Ortega, MEd, Community Researcher
Jaquelyn Perez, Executive Committee Member
Maira Rosas-Lee, MS, Community Researcher
Muna Sahal, Executive Committee Member
Laura Serrano, BA, Community Researcher
Mai See Thao, BA, Community Researcher
Charles Vang, MD, Community Researcher
Shoua Vang, BA, Community Researcher
Bai Vue, MEd, Community Researcher
John Yang, BA, Community Researcher
Mai Khou Yang, MSW, Community Researcher
Kathie Culhane-Pera, MD, MS, West Side Community Health Services Associate Medical Director and Co-Director of Community Based Research
Shannon Pergament, MPH, MSW, West Side Community Health Services Co-Director of Community Based Research

Contact Us:
If you have questions about SoLaHmo or would like to inquire about forming a research partnership with SoLaHmo, please email:

Shannon Pergament, Co-Director of Community Based Research: spergament@westsidechs.org


 

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Administrative offices • 153 Cesar Chavez Street • Saint Paul, MN 55107

651-602-7500 • 651-222-1305 fax • info@westsidechs.org