Focus Group Study of Diverse Local Populations and Their Health Care Experiences in Northeastern Pennsylvania

Cross-Cultural Issues

  • Linda Trompetter College Misericordia
  • Arthur Breese College Misericordia
  • James Calderone College Misericordia
  • Grace S. Fisher College Misericordia
  • Rodrigo Gereda Peace Center
  • Mari King College Misericordia
  • Richard Kramer Jewish Family Service of Greater Wilkes-Barre
  • Anne Lin Wilkes University
  • Hisham A. Nabaa Wilkes University
  • Lalit Shah College Misericordia
  • Theresa Tyler Smith American Red Cross
  • Mayon Sylvain Sisters of Mercy
  • Suzy Weinman Jewish Family Service of Greater Wilkes-Barre


This investigation was conducted through the support of the College Misericordia Diversity Institute and a grant from the Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Focus group participants were 49 adults from seven minority populations residing in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. Data was collected by 11 focus group leaders who were members of a Blue Ribbon Grant Core Committee at College Misericordia in 2004. The seven populations studied were African Americans, Arabic Muslims, Asian-Chinese and Korean, Gay and Lesbian, Hispanic, Jewish, and Asian Indian. A 30-question survey was used to collect data during one to two hour focus group interviews. Through content analysis, six problematic issues faced by many of the participants were identified. All of the findings were validated by a review process. The six issues faced by the 7 groups were: 1) Economics, Education, and Employment Influence Life for Newcomers, 2) Customs and Traditions Sometimes Sacrificed- The Influence of American Culture, 3) Socialization Often Limited to Same Population Group, 4) Mixed Acceptance Level from Area Natives, 5) Bilingual Challenges Impede Optimal Inclusion, 6) Health Care Access Problems. The aforementioned cross-groups study is explored in this report. The study also yielded seven other reports (one for each diverse population) which provide a description of that particular focus group’s perspective on topics such as religion, food, family, customs, and health care (see Appendices A, B, C, D, E, F, and G). Findings of this study are being disseminated in a local effort to educate health care professionals. Future research will be needed to determine if progress is being made in fulfilling the health care needs of all diverse populations living in Luzerne and Lackawanna County, as well as other parts of northeastern Pennsylvania.
How to Cite
Trompetter, L., Breese, A., Calderone, J., Fisher, G. S., Gereda, R., King, M., Kramer, R., Lin, A., Nabaa, H. A., Shah, L., Smith, T. T., Sylvain, M., & Weinman, S. (2005). Focus Group Study of Diverse Local Populations and Their Health Care Experiences in Northeastern Pennsylvania: Cross-Cultural Issues. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 3(3), 73-126.