The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities recently honored member Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) in SeaTac, Washington, with the 2017 Alliance Commitments Award for Engaging All Voices in the impact area: Population Health and Well-Being.

To support the mental health of refugees as they transition to their new communities, the organization created a short culturally competent questionnaire to detect symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Consistent with the Commitment Engaging All Voices, LCSNW made sure the instrument asks the right questions in the right way for various languages and cultures. To do so, LCSNW used an iterative back-and-forth translation process that included professional translation, community review and adaptation, and community consensus.

Though it was initially thought impossible to make a tool that would be accepted and understood by people from many countries, the refugee health screener is currently available in 16 languages, endorsed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and is used at 200 U.S. sites in 12 refugee accepting states and in eight international settings.

In addition to developing this tool to improve population mental health and well-being, LCSNW is committed to Engaging All Voices and Co-Creating with Community through its workforce. At the organization, staff speak more than 20 languages, which puts refugees at ease; many refugees work as service providers, including as counselors and resettlement specialists; a board member and area director were refugees.

The award was presented Sept. 13 as part of the Innovation Design Summit: Leading through the Integration of Health Care and Human Services.

Alliance Commitments Awards also will be given at upcoming Innovation Design Summits:

There’s still time to register for the upcoming summits.

Learn more about the Alliance’s Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations online.

Contact the Alliance Meetings Department with questions or for more information about the awards.