The Development of Haitian Health Institute
In order to meet the challenges to improve
access and health care services for Haitians, a consortium of health care professionals mobilized to establish the Haitian Health Institute (HHI) in 1996 rather than have disparate clinics across metropolitan Boston.
We facilitate the delivery of health care services and education to Haitians and Haitian-Americans as well as coordinate access to health services for this population, particularly within the structures of managed care.
The Haitian Health Institute team consists of practicing clinicians who are active in the Haitian community. They serve on the faculty of the Boston University School of Medicine and are experienced public health researchers who have:
- Assisted in the design and implementation of numerous successful proactive programs for the Haitian community, independently and in collaboration with other Haitian community organizations.
- Provided talks and interviews on various health topics through the Haitian community media, including radio and community-access television.
- Contributed to public, private and community efforts aimed at increasing health education, promoting healthy life choices and obtaining access to services for the Haitian community of the Greater Boston area.
- Networked community-based organizations including the Haitian Multi Service Center (HMSC), Haitian American Public Health Initiatives (HAPHI), and the Center for Community Health, Education and Research (CCHER).
Following the 7.0 earthquake of January 12th, the Haitian Health Institute is committed to providing resources for Haitian families in the Boston area.
Affected members of the community can contact HHI by phone or email and use the above link to access services, ranging from trauma counseling to legal advisory.
HHI's mission is to research unmet needs, identify gaps in services and evaluate existing programs for efficiency of service. HHI also links the Haitian Diaspora to public health initiatives and health care resources through translation. Regular activities include research, evaluating existing programs, networking with other organizations, community organizing, and rapid response to community health crises.
HHI's priority is the development of a common plan through which to improve health care and education in the Haitian community. To do so, we network between health, school, neighborhood, social service, faith-based groups and cultural agencies.
HHI physicians also investigate barriers to health care and the means of removing those barriers by collaborating with like-minded cultural institutions or state initiatives.
HHI has spent the past year researching and assessing the needs of the Haitian community members who access care through BMC and the associated Health Net. The affiliated Neighborhood Health Care (Health Net) centers at Codman Square, Mattapan, Harvard Street, Whittier Street and Upham's Corner often refer Haitian American children and adults to BMC for care that is not available at the clinic locations. Although this extensive network of resources and providers offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop a hub through which to link services and information to Haitian patients using BMC or the neighborhood health care centers, the task of providing culturally and linguistically competent services continues to fall upon a few Haitian health care providers.
The Haitian Health Institute continues to work to meet the health needs of the Haitian community including the organizational and networking requirements of the Haitian community agencies.