203864 Latino Community Health Workers: Linking Latino children to health services

Monday, November 9, 2009

Anel Mercado , The Children's Health Initiative, Public Health - Seattle & King County, Seattle, WA
Objective. The Children's Health Initiative in King County uses culturally-tailored community-based outreach approaches to demonstrate effectiveness in enrolling uninsured Latino children into public health coverage and assure that they receive medical and dental care. Spanish speaking community health workers, Promotores de Salud, were trained as health navigators to work within their own Latino communities to support families in understanding the need for preventive health services and health insurance, to access publicly funded coverage and to establish a medical and dental home.

Methods. We tracked the number of newly enrolled children in Medicaid and SCHIP in 2008 by Promotores and those connected to a doctor or dentist. Additionally, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews were conducted with Promotores to ascertain the intangible benefits that program participation offers to them.

Results. In a one year period, over 200 children, who are often at the margins of traditional outreach efforts, were assisted in applications to Medicaid or SCHIP programs and were connected to a doctor and dentist for important preventive services. The Promotores, the majority of whom are low-income women with little previous professional work experience, report a new sense of pride and accomplishment and increased self esteem as a result of their participation in the Promotores program.

Conclusions. In addition to the tangible benefits of increasing access to important health services for isolated and vulnerable populations of children, participation in the Promotores program also provides the mostly female Promotores a strong sense of pride and accomplishment in serving their own communities.

Learning Objectives:
1. List three barriers that prevent low-income, immigrant communities from accessing health services. 2. List three successful strategies to find, enroll and link low income, immigrant children to medical and dental services 3. Identify three benefits to Promotores through their training and participation as a community health worker.

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Access to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed,developed, implemented and manage the Latino Community Health Worker program for which I have submitted this abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.