264215 Promotoras de Salud [Lay-health workers] promoting early breast cancer detection, health literacy and care access in Hispanic immigrant communities

Monday, October 29, 2012

Robin Lewy, MA , Rural Women's Health Project, Gainesville, FL
Francine Ricardo, BS , Director of Development, Rural Women's Health Project, Gainesville, FL
The Rural Women's Health Project's Creando Nuestra Salud [Creating our Health] is a community-developed early breast cancer detection program for Hispanic Women in North Central Florida. One of the greatest health disparities facing Hispanic women is the high death rate from breast cancer primarily due to late detection. The American Cancer Society and the Walmart Foundation provided funds to address breast cancer health disparities among Latinas. The Creando Nuestra Salud (CNS) program incorporates cultural and linguistic considerations and focuses on reaching rural Hispanic women who are often without a medical home and have limited access to reliable information in Spanish. In 2011, CNS was initiated in seven rural counties to increase the participation of Hispanic, Spanish-speaking women, 40 years of age and older, in early breast cancer detection screenings through evidence-based, one-on-one peer education and referrals. Forty- three Hispanic women were trained as promotoras de salud (lay-health workers). During a four-month campaign 1,203 Hispanic community women were educated about early breast cancer detection. CNS incorporates key elements for success: partnering with community-based and health programs, utilization of communal testimonies for CNS fotonovela education materials, the utilization of didactic tools and a Spanish-language Resource Guide. Navigation and medical support was provided through health partners. The result was a commitment to monthly BSE by 97% of women participants, up from only 26% practicing monthly BSE prior to orientation, assisting 209 overcome their stated barriers to screenings and bridging women to community health program partners (medical homes).

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1- To explain the three main tenets of successful lay-health worker programs in rural, Hispanic Immigrant Communities 2- To integrate popular education into lay-health worker outreach education to increase health literacy 3-To promote the use of Community Resource Guides as a strategy of community empowerment and access 4-To value the prioritization of breast self-exams among Hispanic immigrants as key to early breast cancer screening 5-To replicate the CNS programís use of a fluid, scripted guide to replicate the early detection message with each woman contact and to gather key research data.

Keywords: Cancer Screening, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 20 years coordinating research and prevention programs with Hispanic Immigrants in the Southeastern U.S. In my position as director of education I have overseen the development of evidence based programming.
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.