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January 3, 2012 > County releases health assessment

County releases health assessment

Submitted By Steve Blomquist

Release of the results of Santa Clara County's first ever Vietnamese Health Assessment provide a fuller understanding of the specific health issues and needs of the County's Vietnamese community whose members account for one of the largest groups within the County's Asian/Pacific Islander population.

"Although Santa Clara County has one of the largest Vietnamese communities outside Vietnam, it is under-served," said Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese. "We need to understand the precise needs of specific populations so that we can better allocate scarce public health funds. This Health Assessment does just that."

Initiated by Cortese in January 2011 as part of the State of the County Address, this six-month study is the first in a series of ethnic health assessments designed to more efficiently address the public health needs of Santa Clara County's diverse population.

"The Public Health Department's comprehensive assessment gives us a clearer picture of the major areas of concern affecting the health of the Vietnamese community and shows us where we must focus our efforts," said Public Health Director Dan Peddycord. "The data collected and analyzed will be extremely helpful in moving forward to improve the health of our county's Vietnamese residents."

Information for the assessment was gathered through a telephone survey, community event and online surveys, interviews with key community leaders and a community forum. The results indicate the Vietnamese community faces significant socio-economic challenges that can limit their access to resources for good health and well-being. In addition to concerns about finances and jobs/unemployment, the Vietnamese community is significantly affected by lack of access to health insurance, cancer, angina/coronary heart disease, diabetes and mental health issues and had high rates of tuberculosis relative to individuals from other countries of birth. Smoking rates were high among Vietnamese men.

The full report from the Vietnamese Health Assessment, "Status of Vietnamese Health: Santa Clara County, California, 2011" is available online at the Public Health Department's website at www.sccphd.org.

For more information, contact Steven Blomquist at (408) 299-5030.

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