219264 Community Health Workers as the main characters of a Spanish soap opera: "Encrucijada: Sin Salud, No Hay Nada" (“Crossroads: Without Health, There Is Nothing”)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Cristina Bejarano, MPH , Independent Public Health Consultant, Denver, CO
Jesus Fuentes , Creative Services Director, Entravision/ LaNetaTierra, Denver, CO
Mariana Enriquez, PhD , Independent Evaluation Consultant, Denver, CO
Anne Smith , Evolve Communications, Littleton, CO
The Spanish speaking community in Colorado is a hard to reach community that faces multiple barriers and challenges to access health care services. A Spanish language soap opera, Encrucijada: Sin Salud, No Hay Nada (“Crossroads: Without Health, There Is Nothing”) presents four “promotores de salud” (health promoters) as the main characters of the drama. Throughout the 12 episodes of Encrucijada, its audience was presented with Medicaid, CHP+, and health information that addressed access to health care and barriers to better health. Encrucijada's health topics were identified by a group of Latino community stakeholders (health promoters included) and health professionals. The health promoters were instrumental in the selection of medical information and terminology to be used in each episode.

The life and personality of the health promoters depict common hardships suffered by the Latino community -- a divorced mother with a history of domestic violence struggles to parent her teenage daughter; a handicapped male health promoter exemplifies the population with special needs that has to work extra hard to pursue life dreams; and a vivacious young mother and wife whose husband is diabetic models healthy behaviors and a positive outlook in life. The health promoters' stories take the audience on a journey that addresses topics such as alcoholism, drug addiction, prenatal care, depression, cancer, and diabetes among many other topics. As a complement to Encrucijada, a call center staffed by health promoters provided links to Medicaid, CHP+, and health services. A snapshot of Encrucijada will be shown during the presentation.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
-Demonstrate how health promoters can reach Spanish speaker Latinos via mass media communication.

Keywords: Latino Health, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the Health Content Coordinator for Encrucijada and I was in charge of working with the community health workers and Executive Producer to incorporate culturally appropriate information in the novela.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Evolve Communications Health Content Coordinator Consultant

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.