Embracing Equity in Immigrant Heart Health Program


Grantee: YMCA of Greater Seattle
Timeframe: April 2024 – March 2025 | Amount: $20,000


YMCA of Greater Seattle will adapt and pilot the existing Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program to cater to specific immigrant communities. Funds will facilitate the translation of materials, training of leaders, procurement of supplies, and community engagement efforts, which are essential for the successful implementation of the program beyond the Y’s current Healthy Living budget.

The existing Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program, designed for adults aged 18+ diagnosed with hypertension, consists of 16 weekly sessions led by a trained Behavioral Health Coach. Topics covered include effective blood pressure monitoring, lifestyle choices to manage blood pressure, and setting personalized goals.

To ensure cultural relevance, the YMCA will collaborate with community-based and faith-based organizations, as well as community leaders from East African and Middle Eastern backgrounds. Partnerships with Living Well Kent, Ethiopian Community Center, Medhane Alem Evangelical Church, and leaders from Arabic-speaking communities in King County will facilitate the adaptation of the program for diverse cultural and linguistic contexts.

Following adaptation, the YMCA will recruit and train 3-6 community members as program facilitators, complementing existing staff expertise. By empowering individuals within the target communities to serve as facilitators, the project aims to bridge language and cultural barriers, fostering community ownership and sustainability.

The Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring classes will enroll 8-10 participants per session, conducted in Amharic, Arabic, Somali, and English. Participants will receive vouchers for healthy food purchases, and behavioral health coaches will assist in navigating additional social and health services based on individual needs.

To address transportation and cultural barriers, the program will be offered at various community locations. Community engagement will be prioritized throughout, with focus group discussions and listening sessions involving representatives from the immigrant populations to ensure cultural sensitivity and alignment with community needs.

During implementation, community members will serve as facilitators, enhancing relatability and trust among participants. Culturally tailored educational materials will be developed with direct input from the target communities, and feedback loops will be established to incorporate participant insights and suggestions for continuous program improvement.

The WELLD community health platform will be utilized to track and monitor participant wellness activities and outcomes throughout the program.


About Our Grantee

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Rooted in a rich history of wellness and community connection, the Y continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the diverse people they serve. Their current mission is to foster Whole Person Health by empowering communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, through impactful programs and initiatives. YMCA’s goal is youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

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