Making the Health Home Model Work for Boys and Young Men of Color

Dec 1, 2014

While there is an abundance of information about the "patient-centered health home" model promoted by the Affordable Care Act, few address the needs of boys and young men of color, who face alarming health disparities. This paper offers strategies to create effective health homes for boys and young men of color, particularly for working with middle- and high-school-aged males.
  • Improving care for boys and young men of color requires an explicit effort to understand and meet their needs. This can be done by getting input from current male patients of color, getting input from young men of color who are not accessing care, and forming a youth advisory board.
  • Ideas for making a clinic a more welcoming space for young men of color include hiring more men of color as health care providers, recruiting male volunteers, and holding male-only clinic hours.
  • A successful health home for boys and men of color should adopt a "trauma-informed approach," involving staff education about the effects of trauma, formal interventions for trauma, close integration of behavioral health care, engaging family members, and perhaps connections to male mentors.
  • Additional skills that are critical to working with young men of color include directly addressing masculinity; providing comprehensive case management; and providing support to gay, bisexual, and transgender patients.