By CARLOS GALLEGO
AAP staff writer
ST. PAUL (Oct. 4, 2012) — Duachi (Dee) Her currently is a Graduate Intern at the Minnesota Department of Health in the Refugee Health Program and graduate student at University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.
Her is from the first generation of AMH (American Born Hmong) professionals. She was born and raised in St. Paul, graduating from Como Park High School and mentored through HCLEEP (Hmong and Chicana/Latina Educational Enrichment Program). It was the first program that existed to address the academic and cultural needs of Hmong and Chicana-Latina girls and young women.
Her went on to receive her undergraduate degree at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter and expects to complete her master’s of science in Community Health Education at UW-La Crosse in May. She plans to pursue a doctorate in minority and multicultural health.
Ms. Her’s position at MDH was created to expand health outreach efforts to the Hmong community. She is a very busy young woman, aside from being at MDH.
She works closely with the Hmong Health Care Professionals Coalition to assist in health promotion activities. This is a shared internship with the American Cancer Society and Invitation Health. At Invitation Health, she is working in the tobacco field.
Her noted that one of the main challenges in the Hmong community is getting many in the community to understand preventive health strategies as well as ensuring they are presented it in a culturally responsive way. She further mentioned an area of interested for her is figuring out the most effective strategies to get health information out to the Hmong community.
According to Her while tens of thousands attended the 4th of July Hmong Soccer tournament only about 300 took part in the various health screenings offered.
Her is involved in organizing the Hmong Health Care Professionals Coalition’s upcoming annual conference. Although there will be a variety of topics covered, this year’s primary focus will be on Mental Health. The conference is open to all.
The target audience for the conference are non-Hmong social workers, and other healthcare professionals. They will cover how to work with Hmong patients and families.
Her’s interest in having an impact in the health of others does not end with just work in the Hmong or Asian community. She will help staff American Cancer Society booth at North Point Health’s free “See, Test and Treat” breast and cervical cancer screening program sponsored by the North Point Heath and Wellness Center, the College of American Pathologists, and the Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen.
This event will be held at North Point,1313 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis on Oct. 5, 6, and 7. Call 612-302-4600. Appointments will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.
The event will focus on Somali and African American on October 6th, the Latino clients on October 7th, Hmong on October 8 (Hmong.) To register, call 612-767-9197 (English,) 612-767-9162 (Spanish,) and 612-767-9161 (Hmong).Walk-ins will also be accepted.
The See, Test and Treat Program will provide breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and follow-up treatment, as needed, for local women who are uninsured or underinsured.”
Some upcoming Free Flu Shot clinics for the Hmong community include: Hmong Resource Fair: Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hmong Alliance Church – Coon Rapids: Sunday, Oct. 14, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Hmong International Market, Saturday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. First Hmong Assembly of God: Sunday, Oct. 28, 1 to 3 p.m.
In addition to the Cancer work, Duachi is working with the Healthy Markets Initiative. This project seeks to uphold healthy behaviors handling butchered animals.
Some of these strategies include having suitable containers for the meat as opposed to simply throwing the meet in one’s trunk and hand washing education. They are targeting several local markets and are working with Hmong and Somali ethnic radio to educate the community around the importance to following the proper safety precautions. Healthy practices can help to reduce the risk of spreading the H3N2v strain of swine flu.
Duachi is a bundle of enthusiasm eager to make a difference in the community seeking to help in closing the health disparities gap. She closed the interview with the famous quote, “knowledge not shared is knowledge wasted.”