Community Partnership Research Interventions

Community Health Interventions with Yakima Ag Workers “El Proyecto Bienestar”

el proyecto bienstar logo

El Proyecto Bienestar (or, Well Being Project), is a long standing community health intervention effort guided by a Yakima Valley community advisory board and a partnership of: The University of Washington; Northwest Communities Education Center/Radio KDNA; Heritage University; Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.

Our current Proyecto Bienestar projects include:

Home Air in Agriculture - Pediatric Intervention (HAPI) Trial (NIEHS 2014-2019)
This study is addressing three highly underdeveloped components of asthma and environmental research - the health of children with asthma living in communities with industrial scale agricultural operations, asthma in a particularly vulnerable subpopulation (Latino farm worker children), and evidence based intervention strategies within these populations. HAPI aims to reduce child exposure to inflammatory agents and allergens in the home through the use of high efficiency particulate air cleaners and a home-based education program.

Health & Safety of Women Ag Workers (MAAF 20013-2014)
El Proyecto Bienestar is addressing sexual harassment of women working in agriculture. EPB, along with a community advisory board, is assessing the extent and interrelationship between sexual harassment and worker health. We will then develop, deliver and evaluate an educational program for the Yakima Valley ag industry.

Our past Proyecto Bienestar projects include:

Aggravating Factors of Asthma in a Rural Environment (NIH&CDC 2009-2013)
This community-based project characterizes ambient triggers of asthma in the rural setting by following 50 asthmatic children - mapping and evaluating their asthma episodes and comparing these to measured contaminants in the air.

ConneX Program and UW Summer Extension Course (HRSA/Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic 2011-2013)
Since 2003, PNASH has led a summer environmental education course in Yakima, WA with university credit for ConneX program students. ConneX is an education outreach program at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic with the aim to create a competitive pool of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter health professions.

Idaho Partnership for Hispanic Health (NIH through the Idaho Mountain States Group, 2005-2011)

This partnership with the Idaho Mountain States Group addressed health disparities among Idaho Hispanics. We advised on community-based participatory research methodologies and provided research and health care expertise to help communities address safety and health interests. Community health workers are key in research and prevention, teaching about metabolic syndrome, and leading healthy eating and exercise programs.

Pilot Project: Fishing Industry Filipino Migrant and Immigrant Work in the Subartic (PNASH Pilot 2013-2014)

Filipino migrant and immigrants are the dominant racial/ethnic workforce in fish processing in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska, composing 28% of the total resident population. University of Alaska and Washington investigators will conduct in-depth interviews to understand the unique injury risk factors and negative health behaviors affecting this vital group.

Pilot Project: Reducing Occupational Health and Safety Risks Among Young Workers in Agriculture through Clinician Engagement (PNASH Small Grant 2011-2012)

We are using a local clinician champion model, providing evidence based accredited training, and an introduction to a newly developed rapid clinical assessment tool that was developed by the Migrant Clinician’s Network.

Pilot Project: Safety and Health of Immigrant Forest Workers on the Olympic Peninsula (NIOSH/CDC, 2007-2009)

Latino immigrant workers are increasingly finding employment as laborers in Pacific Northwest forests. This project provided a baseline understanding of the hazards faced by salvage cedar block cutters and the barriers they may face in addressing these occupational health and safety hazards. Employing community based participatory research methods, 13 key informant interviews were conducted with forest and community workers. The findings of this project, in brief, include:

  • Block cutters face known forest worker risks and injuries, such as falls, injuries from tools, heavy lifting and varied PPE use
  • Block cutters face unique risks, such as during helicopter transport of loads, working in isolation, and lack of on the job training
  • Social environment, such as intercultural and community dynamics, impacts workplace health and safety.

A health and safety workshop was conducted for forest workers on the Olympic Peninsula and an informational DVD on forest worker health and safety was developed for local distribution.