Consumer Advisory Council

Consumer Video Project

In 2018, the Consumer Advisory Council connected with three community groups to understand their perspectives on healthcare access in Connecticut. The resultant videos are posted below. These videos feature individual community members’ advice to healthcare providers to better connect with patients, and advice to other community members to improve their access to health services. 

Testimonials: Max - Max is a young man with an Asperger’s diagnosis and a visual impairment. He shares his frustrations with connecting with his healthcare provider. Max wants respect from his healthcare provider and more specific information to understand his healthcare options.


Testimonials: Kaitlin - Kaitlin is a caring, friendly young woman who loves to swim. She struggles with hearing and Williams syndrome. She wishes her doctor would talk to her and listen to her, so that she could develop trust with them.


Testimonials: Emily's Story - Emily has cerebral palsy but she is smart and can understand what people say to her, so she is frustrated when doctors do not talk directly to her. She is frustrated that doctors do not take the time to understand what she is saying, and instead only talks to her mom. Most of all, Emily wants doctors to not judge her for the way she looks.


Testimonials: Emily #2 Story - Emily yearns to experience all the developmental stages of life, and to live independently as a 26-year old with disabilities. However, she struggles with finding handicap-accessible apartments and finding healthcare providers that understand her healthcare issues. She advises that young adults advocate for themselves and make sure that doctors read their entire health history, because no one else will advocate for them.


Testimonials: Bobby - Bobby knows that people get frustrated with him because he says the wrong things when trying to relate to them. Bobby has ADHD, cerebral palsy, autism, and he is very self-aware. He asserts that what he says – and what all young adult patients say – matters. Bobby advises young adults that when talking to doctors, they have to take initiative and show that they are the ones needing help, not the parent. Bobby believes that it is worth taking the time to learn the complexities of managing your own healthcare.


Newcomers: Be Proactive - Immigrants from Jamaica and the West Indies recommend taking a prevention approach to healthcare. They advise that people go the doctor to address problems early. Once the problem has gone on for too long, it may be too late to get better. Remember that “my health is my wealth!”


Newcomers: Lorna White - Lorna White is a tax consultant from Jamaica, West Indies. She described a situation where the doctor asked her where she was from and dismissed her by saying “you wouldn’t understand me anyway” and prescribed medicine without explaining what was going on with her health. So she went to another healthcare provider that was much more receptive and identified that she had a gallbladder issue. Lorna recommends that people shop around for doctors and find a primary care physician to talk to about healthcare issues.


Newcomers: Empowerment - Claudia Cousins recommends that anyone new to the U.S. ask questions of your doctor. When she first came from Jamaica, she did not have enough information that she needed to navigate the system. She recommends that newcomers talk with established immigrants like herself to learn how to use healthcare services.


Newcomers: Advice to Doctors - Recent immigrants from the Caribbean offer advice to doctors about how to best connect with their patients. Doctors need to be patient with recent immigrants, take the time to explain, slow down when talking, and repeat what the patients have communicated to make sure they understand.


Newcomers: Communication: Immigrants from the Caribbean offer advice to other immigrants. Make sure you understand what your doctor is saying. The words are very different from the island to the U.S. so learn how to communicate better. Be specific – point to where it hurts on your body. And always have a list of your medications when you go visit your doctor.


Community Roundtable: Empowerment - A woman talks with her friends about her trusting relationship with a pharmacist who helps her ensure that she gets the right medicine.


Community Roundtable: Cultural Sensitivity - A group of Caribbean community members discuss the importance of cultural sensitivity in the medical field. One woman highlights the shame people have around language barriers and lack of education to understand their doctors. Community members assert that they want doctors who can listen.


Community Roundtable: BushMed: A group of Caribbean community members talk about bush remedies and how these cultural traditions compare with Western medicine. They talk about the importance of communicating information about bush medicine with healthcare providers in order to understand the complex drug interactions. #culturalcompetency #traditionalmedicine


Coordinated Care: Addiction - This video shows a strong patient-doctor relationship in action. The healthcare provider focuses on building a trusting relationship, takes the time to get to know his patient, and asks a lot of questions to understand how to best provide care.


Community Roundtable: Addiction - At her therapy group, a woman talks about her primary care physician who helps her with her addiction and her physical health. The physician talks about the value of trust and honesty in their provider-patient relationship. #addiction #healthcare #coordinatedcare #primaryhealthphysician


Community Roundtable: Primary Care Provider Addiction and Recovery - In her group, Lori talks about her primary care physician who is well-versed in primary care and in addiction. She asserts the importance of finding a trusted primary care physician who can assist in the recovery from mental health and addiction issues. #primarycarephysician #addiction


Community Roundtable: Addiction - Raymond talks about his health issues due to his drug addictions. He shared the struggles with finding the help that he needs, and the importance of seeking primary care. #addiction #recovery #sobriety #primarycare


Community Roundtable: Addiction - Lori talks about her health issues due to her drug addiction. She asserted the importance of getting physical therapy and tending to her health with primary care during the addiction recovery process.


Community Roundtable: Addiction - Brent shares his journey with recovery from mental health and addiction, and talks about the importance of connecting with his primary care physician.


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