224434 Community power and the promotor: A neighborhood based approach

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pamela Gudino, MPH , Family Support Department, Somos Mayfair, San Jose, CA
Aryeh Shell, MA , Community Engagement Department, Somos Mayfair, San Jose, CA
Evelyn Sanchez, BS , Civic Action Department, Somos Mayfair, San Jose, CA
Marisol Murguia, BS , Health Sciences Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Maria Urquiza , Family Support Department, Somos Mayfair, San Jose, CA
Community health workers (or promotores) are a CDC recognized best practice model for individual and community wide behavior change. However, unless promotores are trained to address the root causes of the health disparities, the support they provide to communities can become an additional barrier to systemic change by facilitating individual level behavior change out of the context of the social determinants of health. Somos Mayfair is a neighborhood based organization in East San Jose whose promotores have been working successfully for over 10 years to improve family health and wellness and early school success. Most of the immigrant families we work with face multiple crises most of them related to larger systems in which they are often denied a voice. Building community power through a leadership development program for service program participants who become promotoras is one way to address this problem. Our leadership development model includes both hands on training in working with other community members and a curriculum through which we support promotoras to develop personal agency (identity, motivation, enhance social analysis skills, strengthen their ability to address personal and community needs (self-efficacy), and increase their motivation to take concrete action. The curriculum has been effective in increasing indicators of promotores' individual power and in the building of base groups that have the potential to effectively address the root causes of health disparities. Promotor training that includes a social justice perspective can have a positive impact on increasing both individual and community level power.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to identify four indicators of community power. 2. Participants will be able to name at least two strategies for increasing the individual power of community promotores.

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a program administrator with experience in planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs. I oversee community promotor programs which provide support for immigrant families to improve family health and wellness and early school success.
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.