This data brief is part of a series "City Voices: New Yorkers on Health"--developed to give a voice to the health needs of people in the city who are often unheard. "Immigrant Communities: Bridging Cultures for Better Health" does this by highlighting informative personal experiences of primarily low-income New Yorkers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. More than one quarter of New York City's residents are foreign born and as such face a unique set of barriers to accessing and utilizing health care, including language issues, more limited access to health insurance, and a lack of familiarity with the United States (US) health care system. In 2014, a mixed-method community needs assessment (CNA) was conducted including 2,875 surveys with primarily low-income New Yorkers in four boroughs, 81 focus groups, and 41 key informant interviews. Multiple immigrant groups participated in the CNA as focus groups participants and key informants, including Latino, Chinese, Korean, Haitian, Middle Eastern, West African, West Indian, South Asian and Southeast Asian populations. Qualitative findings illuminated the challenges low-income immigrant New Yorkers face when accessing and utilizing health care. The realities of immigrant life and work, such as long hours at low-paying jobs, and the importance of prioritizing children and economic advancement over individual health, act as significant barriers to care. In addition, structural barriers, which limit immigrant access to health insurance as well as culturally and linguistically appropriate services, further affect immigrants' ability to utilize health care services. According to these findings, more differentiated approaches tailored to the realities of specific immigrant groups could increase access to adequate health care services for immigrant New Yorkers.
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