Caribbean Community Health and Education

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Caribbean Diaspora Healthy Nutrition Outreach Project

About the Project:

The Caribbean Diaspora Healthy Nutrition Outreach Project (CDHNOP) aims to improve the health and lives of Caribbean immigrants and their families. Led by Trinidad-born Principal Investigator and former NSU MD Assistant Dean for Community and Global Health and current chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla at the Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, this project is heavily inclusive – from Caribbean participants, partnerships with Caribbean serving organizations, and researchers of Caribbean descent. We aim to accurately represent our Caribbean people by including them in every step. This culturally sensitive approach to health and wellness education will be combined with efforts to encourage, empower, support and inspire more minorities to embrace a career in health care.

Caribbean Diaspora Healthy Nutrition Outreach Project (CDHNOP)

  • WHAT? CDHNOP focuses on nutrition and active living choices among South Florida’s Caribbean sub-population. Using the Go-Slow-Whoa “use the light to eat right”  format, we aim to have our education materials culturally, visually and linguistically reflect the food and exercise preferences of our Caribbean population. Medical and nutrition experts added important health facts and tips to encourage healthier food and exercise choices in our Caribbean community. Our goal is to make small ingredient and portion changes in our traditional Caribbean foods and include preferred exercises that will make great positive health impact.
  • WHY? Florida is currently home to 1.6 million Caribbean immigrants, representing about 41% of the Caribbean immigrant population in the United States. Moreover, at 75%, South Florida houses the largest population density of Caribbean immigrants in the entire nation! In addition, our Caribbean community has a high prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke, all impacted by being overweight or obese. Using a culturally sensitive approach to health education, our goal is to help our community reach its Healthy People 2020 and 2030 goals. Our Caribbean community is also unfairly underrepresented in academic research, public health intervention, and consideration for standardization of care and diversity/inclusion programming.
  • HOW? We conducted Caribbean focus groups to gain insight as to what nutrition and exercise information was important to the Caribbean community. We were able to also gather important information on social determinants of health which will help us to align community resources with identified social, health and environmental needs. Our education materials are now available for distribution throughout the community and are available in English, Spanish and Creole.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: This Caribbean centered healthy living campaign also serves as a dashboard for us to combine health education with the creation of a diversity pipeline for the health care fields. We aim to encourage, empower, support and inspire more minorities to embrace a career in health care! While the CDHNOP is led by, inclusive of, and designed for individuals of Caribbean descent, we embrace everyone in our community. Together we will make great positive strides for all residents in our community.

 How can you get involved?

Whether you’d like to participate in our research, offer financial support, or would just like to learn more about the project, please feel free to shoot us an email at caribbeanhealth@nova.edu or visit our website at https://osteopathic.nova.edu/community/caribbean-health-initiative.html.  

Thank you for your continued support!

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