215989 Abrazos: A family literacy and health promotion program for immigrant women and their children

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Anna Tecklenburg, MA , College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Deborah C. Williamson, DHA, MSN, CNM , College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Dianna Inman, MS, APRN, CPNP , College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Abrazos provides a school readiness program for children, emphasizing language development and health promotion activities to improve the well-being of immigrant mothers and their children in an urban community in coastal South Carolina. Many immigrant women are isolated and struggle to adjust to a new culture and the demands of parenting. Two mornings a week, mothers meet as a group for health information and English as a second language classes. Parenting skills are enhanced by the mother's participating in instructor-led activities with their children. Funded from both private and federal sources, Abrazos has served 70 women and their children over the last 4 years. In the children, lanuage development was measured by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (in English and Spanish) and the Expressive Vocabulary Test. A state approved test (BEST test) measured gains in English language by the mothers. Over 96% of mothers and children demonstrated significant improvement in language skills. By the end of the academic year, 100% of children have an identified medical home and are up to date on their immunizations, and 96% of the mothers report having had a pap smear. Increased social support among the mothers was documented in focus groups. Service learning experiences for health professions students were incorporated into the program design. The success of Abrazos has resulted in its expansion into other communities with funding by Title One and Head Start. As Abrazos continues to expand and build partnerships, it can serve as a model for other organizations that seek to promote the health and well-being of immigrant women and their children to ultimately create a more just and equitable future.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe strategies for establishing a community partnership. Discuss an integrated model of health promotion using a community participatory approach. Identify sources of funding for sustainability.

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Health Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I coordinate all aspects of the Abrazos program and facilitate the weekly health promotion class with new immigrant women. I am involved with grant related activities in research and practice related to immigrant and Latino health.
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.