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Topics > Reducing Health Disparities Initiative > What We Are Doing > Alcohol and Other Drugs Services Partners with Providers

Alcohol and Other Drugs Services Partners with Providers


(Left to right) AOD Director Haven Fearn, AOD Community Organizer Amy Chao and AOD Administrative Coordinator Curtis Christy.

Our Alcohol and Other Drugs Services (AOD) Division is working with its 15 community providers to address linguistic access, cultural competence and other issues as part of our Reducing Health Disparities Initiative (RHDI).

AOD relies heavily on its community providers for client care, so it's important to involve them in the effort to reduce disparities in substance abuse treatment and prevention, said AOD Director Haven Fearn.

Though a commitment to reducing health disparities isn't a contract requirement, AOD is incorporating the concept into contract language and providers are responding well.

"We are asking them to be more responsive to different cultures and to detail how they intend to address these issues. The providers want to do it and they want guidance," Haven said. "Collaboration with community providers creates a ripple effect in the community to help reduce health disparities."

AOD staff and providers also recently received cultural competency training. Cultural competency training for different cultures is vital, said Amy Chao, AOD Community Organizer.

"What may work in the African-American community may not work in the Southeast Asian community," she said. Amy started what she calls a "Cultural Corner" in her division's office, which includes information and pictures of cultural celebrations, such as the Laotian New Year celebrated in March.

AOD also has informational brochures and resources guides available in Spanish and several Southeast Asian languages, including Vietnamese, Lao, Chinese and Cambodian. A Spanish-language option soon will be added to the AOD Information and Referral phone line. They also plan to open a bilingual (Spanish/English) residential detox program this month in Concord.

Outpatient treatment is already offered in Spanish at AOD facilities in Bay Point and West Richmond. On the prevention front, parenting classes are offered in Spanish and an alcohol abuse screening questionnaire has been translated into additional languages to help raise awareness about alcohol abuse in the Southeast Asian community.

AOD Works with Community Coalition to Train Staff and Providers

To address the needs of Contra Costa County's growing Southeast Asian population, our AOD Division has teamed up with a community partnership to train staff and providers in cultural competency.

The training was taught by the Southeast Asian Youth and Family Alliance (SAYFA), which includes Supervisor John Gioia's offi ce and is a collaboration among communitybased service providers. The training included an examination of the Southeast Asian refugee experience and major issues facing youth and families, such as cultural and generational gaps. The Southeast Asian community is very tight-knit and members aren't likely to seek help outside their community, said Curtis Christy, AOD administrative coordinator.

Curtis represents AOD on the alliance and also is a member of our RHDI Education Committee. "In particular, there is a cultural resistance to seeking help for substance abuse and mental health problems, making community partnership so critical," Curtis said.

For more information about AOD's efforts to reduce health disparities contact Curtis Christy, who works in AOD administration and is a member of our RHDI Education Committee, at cchristy@hsd.cccounty.us or 925-313-6300.



Content provided by the Reducing Health Disparities Initiative.


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