Our Healthy Alliance – a newly formed, combined effort of community groups, Benton County, Northwest Arkansas Council, and the University of Arkansas School for Medical Sciences (UAMS) – today launched a public awareness campaign to connect local Marshallese and Hispanic communities to health care services, information and resources.
Over the past year, these community groups came together to raise awareness of the effects of COVID-19 and the importance of vaccination, including running and promoting free vaccine clinics around the region. The collaboration around the community’s response to COVID-19 highlighted the need for continued cooperation, resources and outreach among the Hispanic and Marshallese communities in Northwest Arkansas. As part of the launch, Our Healthy Alliance created an online resource hub – healthynwa.org, saludnwa.org, and majol.healthynwa.org– designed to help residents find, pay for and use health care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
“Our Healthy Alliance will make care easier to access for the more than 12,000 Marshallese residents in Northwest Arkansas,” said Carlnis Jerry, MREC program director with Marshallese Educational Initiative. “Our community has unique health needs and having a go-to health resource to make it easier to navigate, access resources, be welcoming and have more trust within the health care system.”
“It can be hard to know where to start with health care, especially with language and cultural barriers,” added Jazmin Rivas, special programs coordinator of Community Clinic. “Our Healthy Alliance brings those options together in one place for community members, making it much easier to start their journey to better health.”
Through community outreach, media engagement and a public awareness campaign, Our Healthy Alliance seeks to unlock a lasting mutual respect between Northwest Arkansas leaders and the community members they serve.
“This group came together during a public health crisis to help residents disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Ryan Cork, executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Council’s Health Care Transformation Division. “Our Healthy Alliance will have meaningful impact on the region’s health outcomes as we turn our attention from immediate crisis response to long-term health equity.”
“We focus on making sure community members have the resources to live healthy and high-quality lives,” said Julie Joyce, outreach design manager in the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. “We are ecstatic that people will now have Our Healthy Alliance as another tool in their toolkit to help them navigate health care options.”
This project is funded through Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), a national program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
Through REACH, grantees plan and carry out local, culturally appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Alaska Native persons.