242999 Addressing Social Determinants of Health in South Philadelphia's Mexican Community: Educational Attainment and Literacy of Immigrant Children

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Deborah Owen, BA Sociology , Afterschool Tutoring and Mentoring Program, Puentes de Salud, Philadelphia, PA
Puentes de Salud is a 501c3 non‐profit organization that partners with valued stakeholders concerned with the health and wellness of south Philadelphia's Mexican immigrant community, including community members, local schools and universities, health organizations, as well as both local and Mexican government representatives. In addition to the direct provision of health care, Puentes de Salud strives to improve the health of this community by tackling the Social Determinants of Health (SDH) that most severely hinder the quality of life and health of the community with which we live and work. The World Health Organization calls for innovative interventions addressing SDH in order to improve the well being of vulnerable groups such as immigrants. Education and literacy are important factors in the health of a community. The children in South Philadelphia's Mexican immigrant community confront daunting challenges of academic, cultural and social assimilation as they begin their education in the public school system. Less than 50% of Latino male students in Philadelphia graduate from high school. In response, Puentes de Salud has developed and implemented a multidisciplinary, collaborative pilot program, Puentes Hacia el Futuro, to improve the wellness of this immigrant community through afterschool tutoring, mentoring, and educational support. The program pairs elementary school children with tutors/mentors who are undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, and community professionals. The children receive homework and literacy support as well exploration of Mexican culture and Spanish language, identity, and self esteem. Additionally, we use the program as an opportunity to offer basic medical and dental services to the children and their families. This program was developed in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania as well as Southwark Elementary School.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of addressing social determinants of health, specifically education, in improving the health of Mexican immigrant communities. Discuss possibilities for multidisciplinary partnerships to improve the health and education of immigrant communities Define the concept of social determinants of health. Explain how educational attainment and literacy can influence the health outcomes of immigrant communities.

Keywords: Education, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I developed, implemented, and oversee the community health and education program described in the 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.