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Nashua To Hold Listening Sessions With Residents of Color On Health Care And Trust

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Starting this week, the City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services will hold listening sessions with Nashua residents of color about their experiences navigating the healthcare system.

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Jane Goodman, a public health strategist with the division says the listening sessions are likely to vary in size, from around 8-20 people. Goodman expects to hold at least four sessions.

The division has been working with community leaders, including a pastor and a barber to help recruit for the sessions. Community health workers are also helping get the word out. Language interpreters will be on site for the sessions.

Goodman says the plan is to focus the sessions around trust. Goodman says while the department knows discrimination and health inequities have manifested in mistrust of the health care system for many BIPOC people, both in Nashua and nationwide, the listening sessions will help the department try to better understand the roots of the lack of trust. In Nashua, around one in four residents is either non-white or Hispanic or Latino.

The listening sessions aim to increase access to health care services. The division plans to share what they learn with local health care providers and use the information to inform future training and education.

The effort is funded through a $50,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, which the department applied for last spring.