157729 Emerging Role of Community Health Workers as Leaders, Educators, and Liaisons for Their Communities

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Carlos A. Ugarte, MSPH , National Council of La Raza, Institute for Hispanic Health,Partnership to Prevent Cervical Cancer, Senior Health Advisor to the National Council of La Raza’s President/CEO and Chair of the Health Disparities Committee, Washington, DC
Liany Elba Arroyo, MPH, CPH , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Emilia M. Leal Gianfortoni , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Effective strategies to address the disparities in health care and outcomes experienced by Latinos require strong links and communication between the health care system, health care providers, and the communities they serve. No entity in our health care system can exist alone and truly be successful; rather, they must collaborate with each other and integrate research, education, evaluation, access, prevention, treatment, and recovery to effectively reduce health disparities among Hispanics.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) views promotores de salud (lay health educators) as an essential part of the health care equation: a part that brings the underserved out of the shadows and into the community clinics and programs developed for needed services. NCLR's model for developing and evaluating promotores de salud interventions has demonstrated an ability to bridge the gap between the health care system and the members of communities they aim to serve. NCLR-trained promotores have demonstrated the ability to competently reach their communities and serve as educators, advocates, and liaisons to enhance and extend the health care services that commonly do not reach immigrant Hispanics.

Evaluation results show that NCLR's model is effective in reaching and demonstrating behavior change among segments of the Latino community. Additionally, data show that promotores also serve as a critical link for underserved Hispanics to the health care system.

Learning Objectives:
Session participants will be able to: 1. Identify the key aspects of an innovative approach to developing promotores de salud-led health education and health promotion interventions. 2. Expand their knowledge about the use and application of the promotores de salud model in diverse settings. 3. Discuss the implications of the culturally- and linguistically-appropriate promotores de salud model for U.S. health policy and practice.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.