224544 Collaborating with community health workers to change El Paso's landscape for health

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Maria Rafaela Gonzalez, CHW , Ywca, Lower Valley YWCA, El Paso, TX
Bertha Torres, CHW , Ywca, Lower Valley YWCA, El Paso, TX
Patricia Diaz, CHW , Ywca, Lower Valley YWCA, El Paso, TX
Cecilia Ochoa, BS , UTEP Departmentt of Public Health Sciences, HERAT Project, El Paso, TX
Marķa Duarte-Gardea, PhD, RD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Hector Balcazar Sr., MS, PhD , El Paso, Regional Campus, UT Health Science Center-School of Public Health, El Paso, TX
Lee Rosenthal, PhD, MPH , College of Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
The Heath Education Awareness Research Team (HEART) is a community-based participatory research project guided by community health workers (CHWs). The multi-year project is funded by NIH to address cardiovascular health promotion among Hispanic families in El Paso, Texas. In this presentation we introduce several of the unique features of the project as they relate to the role of HEART CHWs. These include a project aim targeted to promoting the integration of CHWs in health and human services locally and more broadly. Locally, the project is showcasing CHWs in physical fitness promotion. In local public and private organizations, CHWs are helping to create an open door for participation in various wellness activities including physical fitness activities referred by and/or led by CHWs. The organizations are examining the fit of the CHWs within their structures and considering longer term integration as they observe CHWs' capacity to increase their cultural competence and ultimately help to increase use of their services and to some degree agency viability. Of interest to the agencies, to be shared in this presentation, are findings from a phone survey undertaken by HEART to establish a baseline including current awareness of CHWs. Beyond the local level, HEART, including its Community Health Advisory Leadership Council (where project CHWs are members), is working to link to statewide efforts to increase interest in CHWs among potential employer thus furthering HEART's policy aim to increase CHW integration.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1) Examine role a community based health intervention team can play in advocating for CHW integration 2) Explore the viability of new roles for CHWs in such areas as physical activity leader/promoter 3) Describe findings from a phone survey assessing awareness of CHWs among residents of the US-Mexico border city of El Paso, Texas

Keywords: Community Health Advisor, Public Health Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-investigator on this NIH funded grant where we work with 3 CHWs we hire
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.