Submission Type

Innovation Highlight


Introduction: The immigrant population in Maine represents a unique group of patients with complicated health care needs due to cultural, linguistic, and systemic barriers. We sought to bridge gaps in health access for immigrant women by expanding and integrating community resources through the development and evaluation of a trauma-informed yoga class.

Methods: A needs assessment via a focus group with immigrant women revealed barriers to care and community health needs. Health partners of the immigrant community were identified via word of mouth and a Google search. Yoga participants were recruited in the primary care clinic and by community outreach. Participants underwent program evaluation, which informed development of the program.

Results: Over 16 months, 52 immigrant women participated in the class. Participants reported reduced social isolation, improved mood, and chronic physical pain. We reduced common barriers to attendance, such as cost, childcare, and transportation. Funding was obtained via the Innovation Cohort and private donations.

Discussion: A group-based yoga class promoted community building among participants. Alleviation of systemic barriers and collaboration between community partners and primary care providers was critical for success.

Conclusions: The model for this program may guide further community-based wellness options for immigrant communities in Maine.



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