Team Snapshot: OneWorld Community Health Center, Omaha, NE
March 18, 2013
Shared By: Julie Eisen
US Region: West North Central
HRSA Region: Region 7
OneWorld Community Health Center
Healthy Weight Collaborative - Phase 2
By Julie Eisen
Meet the Team
Located in southeastern Omaha, on the border of Nebraska and Iowa, OneWorld Community Health Center is the largest provider of bilingual primary care and services in South Omaha, and is the home base of the Nebraska team in the Healthy Weight Collaborative.
The team is focusing their efforts on the 11,000 children age 2 through 18 served at the Health Center. With a patient population that is approximately 80 percent Hispanic, cultural sensitivity and competency are key components to the delivery of all medical services, including healthy weight counseling and materials. To complement their clinic efforts, the team is also targeting the 1,000 children served at three school-based health centers in elementary schools, also located in South Omaha, which are staffed by OneWorld providers.
| Rebecca Tamayo, team leader and director of operations at OneWorld.
In Douglas county, 31 percent of children are overweight or obese, a rate that rises to over 46 percent for minority children. “We do have a high obesity level,” says Rebecca Tamayo, team leader and director of operations at OneWorld. “Our provider champions have decided to make an effort to focus on pediatric body mass index (BMI) and its contributing factors.”
One way that the team is addressing BMI and promoting a healthy lifestyle is through their HOLA project, which stands for Healthy Options for Latino/a Appetites. The program offers providers skills and a toolkit to guide patient conversations about healthy weight, with materials and recommendations specifically tailored to the Hispanic community. To prepare for implementation, providers underwent training on motivational interviewing (MI), a communication technique used to actively engage patients in behavior-change planning.
As Tamayo explains, MI training allows providers to consider questions such as:
• What are some of the uncomfortable conversations that I am having?
• How can I be respectful in tailoring the conversations to the patient’s needs?
• How can my care be patient-centered in addressing weight and healthy eating?
Additionally, discussions centering on healthy food options are geared toward the Latino diet.
“We are trying to educate the families and care providers on healthy options while still focusing on some of the foods that families are accustomed to eating,” says Tamayo. “We are focusing on being culturally respectful, with an emphasis on preserving traditional flavors.” Providers offer recipes with suggestions such as using the same spices but substituting fried food with toasted food or flour tortillas with corn tortillas, as well as guidance on portion size.
Members of the team piloted the project in February through June 2012 in the three targeted school-based community health centers with children primarily between the ages of 11 and 14. According to Tamayo, patients said they found conversations about healthy weight to be more positive and encouraging.
Right now the team is refining the HOLA project in order to launch another pilot at OneWorld’s main campus.