262327 Partnering with promotores: An innovative new practice for increasing disaster resilience in Latino communities

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rachel Long, MPH , Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Biblia Kim, MPH , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Thelma Gamboa-Maldonado, DrPH (c), MPH, CHES , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Walleska I. Bliss, MPH, MSW(c) , School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Preparedness, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Kimberley Shoaf, DrPH , Center for Public Health and Disasters, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Jesse C. Bliss, MPH , School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Susanne Montgomery, PhD, MPH, MS , Behavioral Health Institute, Loma Linda University, Redlands, CA
Earthquakes, wildfires, floods, and chemical spills have enormous potential to affect the health of all in southern California, but especially vulnerable Latino populations that are often geographically, linguistically, and culturally isolated from local preparedness and response resources. The UCLA Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (PERRC) at Loma Linda University seeks to build disaster resilience in families and neighborhoods, which has immediate and long-term impacts on community health. This project uses a quasi-experimental, mixed-methods, community-based participatory research (CBPR) design to assess the efficacy of partnering with promotores (community health educators) as the link between researchers, public health workforce, and community members. The project connects with promotores from one urban and one rural Latino communities to create a disaster preparedness capacity building program. After receiving CBPR and Institutional Review Board training, promotores conducted 446 household surveys, which measured disaster resilience through indicators of social, economic, and ecologic capital and emergency preparedness beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Data was also collected through 25 key informant interviews, 5 focus groups, and 2 windshield surveys. The findings led to the development of a 9-hour, Spanish/English, awareness-level train-the-trainer curriculum that teaches emergency preparedness and response, with emphasis on community planning and integration with the local resources. Promotores also increased linkages with the community at health fairs and table-top exercises. The session will discuss the process and impact evaluations, presenting the approaches used in this PERRC project with promotores as a new potential best practice for increasing disaster resilience among isolated Latino communities.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe methodology of using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to promote community emergency preparedness 2. Discuss the role of promotores in fostering disaster resilience among underserved Latino communities

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher and subject-matter expert (SME) for the federally funded UCLA Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (PERRC) at Loma Linda University. My field is in community-based public health research and disaster preparedness among vulnerable communities.
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.