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Sociocultural Barriers and Staff Selection
The Project’s main strategy for addressing sociocultural barriers in reaching the target
population is through careful staff selection.  Outreach workers will be recruited from the target
neighborhoods.  In selecting staff, additional consideration will be given to applicants who are former
sex workers or substance users.  HAP has been quite successful in recruiting staff from this population.
50% of HAP’s current outreach staff are former sex workers or substance users. 80% are African
American.  Recruiting staff with such backgrounds ensures that they understand the life situations of
clients and the barriers they face in accessing medical care. Project staff who do not come from the
target population (e.g., the nurse practitioner and some outreach workers) will be given sensitivity
training developed and taught by HAP’s executive director.
At the beginning of the Project, staff from all Coalition members will be provided a one-day
orientation.  They will be introduced to the Project through a discussion of the Coalition’s mission and
goals.  The goal of the orientation is not to provide specific technical information, but rather to give staff
a vision of the Project’s role in improving access to health care for the target population.  Discussion
topics will be facilitated by the appropriate coalition member (HAP—street outreach and harm
reduction, Highland Hospital—medical care for HIV positive clients, Eastern Health Center—STD
screening/referral and the community health system).  Project staff will take an intensive test on
HIV/AIDS issues to determine training needs.
Staff Training
Outreach workers and supervisors will participate in a weekly staff meeting each Monday from
1pm—5pm at HAP’s offices in downtown Oakland.  The meeting agenda is divided into two segments.
The first segment is a review of activities performed the previous week, including a review of successful
interventions, problems encountered and approaches attempted.  Field log sheets provide the basis for
discussion.  The focus of discussion is peer review and dialogue with occasional coaching from
supervisory staff.
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