Maki Gboro

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Maki Gboro

Maki Claude Pascal Gboro

JFK Partners
University of Colorado School of Medicine, CO

Maki Claude Pascal Gboro, MD, UCEDD Diversity Fellow completed his Medical Doctor degree in Democratic Republic of Congo. Maki’s vast healthcare experience includes work with female victims of sexual violence in Eastern Congo, as well as work with HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa. Most recently, he held the position of Health Coordinator at ECDC/African Community Center in Denver, working with newly resettled refugee families facing the challenges of navigating the US healthcare system. As an immigrant himself, and as a parent of a recently diagnosed child with ASD, Maki is keenly aware of the need to bring knowledge and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder – as well as other developmental disabilities - into the immigrant community, especially refugees. To accomplish this, he is partnering with community-based organizations and medical providers working with refugees and immigrants in the Denver metro area and develops specific plans for identifying early signs of ASD in targeted populations. He outreached with immigrant communities to raise awareness of ASD. He is using information gained during this fellowship training to find optimal ways to introduce screening for ASD in the Well Child Check visit offered to immigrant children. As a part of this process, he will also collaborate in the translation of existing screening materials into other languages, including Swahili and French, ensuring this is done in a culturally sensitive manner.

Project Narrative

1. Please describe your activities during your fellowship experience. Describe your final capstone project(s).
Our AIDD UCEDD Fellowship as Diversity fellows had two main components: 1) attendance at courses and seminars offered by JFK Partners, and 2) a project focused on the improvement of the child developmental screening in refugee/immigrant communities. During this training, we learned about key concepts in neurodevelopmental disabilities and acquired necessary tools to support the leadership roles we serve in our community.

We worked with Denver Health/Lowry Clinic to promote early detection and screening of neurodevelopmental disabilities in the Denver Metro area, so that children and families may receive services and support they need. Children from these communities were less likely to be screened for developmental delays due to cultural competency issues among medical providers, limited English proficiency, and low literacy levels among parents. We were able to develop a standard of work within the clinic for the screening of kids from families who speak a language other than English or Spanish. We recommended that developmental screening is part of the Well Child Visit and be included in the refugees’ initial medical screening. After a considerable effort, there is a discernible change in the child developmental screening effort at Denver Health/Lowry Clinic. Children are screened during their initial refugee screening visit, and the clinic is implementing developmental screening in languages other than English and Spanish during well child visit for families.

2. Who did your project inform, help, influence or impact? (UCEDD, individual, community, state) How?
The principal beneficiary of the initiative is the refugee and immigrant community living in the Denver Metro area. Refugee and immigrant children with developmental delays will have the opportunity to be screened early and be referred to appropriate resources where needed. The health care provider (Denver Health/Lowry Clinic) improved the quality of care provided for patients who speak languages other than English or Spanish by consistently implementing developmental screening as part of the well-child visit.

In addition, the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council was informed about our initiative in a prerecorded presentation.

3. Why did you choose to work on that project(s)?
I selected the project because of my:
Background as a medical practitioner;
Past professional experience assisting refugees in the Denver Metro area to navigate the U.S. health care system and,
 My personal experience as a parent of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (including both challenges in accessing services and the benefit of early intervention).

4. What did you gain from being a Diversity Fellow?
As a Diversity Fellow, I gained:
• Knowledge of service systems in Colorado for planning comprehensive services and support, such as systems of care (e.g., Medical Home, care coordination), community resources, and public and private funding sources.
• Understanding of resources and appropriate referrals available for families regarding peer support (leadership activities, culture competency, family-centered care, advocacy, other interdisciplinary training topics associated with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities)
• Understanding of the perspectives of other trainees in several professional disciplines.

5. How will this experience impact your education or career decisions?
This fellowship will have considerable influence on my life as a health professional, a parent of a child with a developmental disability and as a leader in my community. I will better understand the expectations of families of children with disabilities and will be better informed of resources to support them. I will also be more comfortable working in an interdisciplinary team with other professionals working on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families

6. What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
My future goal is to practice as a Pediatrician. My next step is to gain acceptance to a Pediatric residency program.

7. What recommendations do you have for other fellows?
I recommend that others share the knowledge gained from their fellowship to support their communities and advocate for families with limited access to resources.

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