Online Program

Utilization of radiodramas and radio-based outreach to educate hard-to-reach Latino immigrant communities in South Carolina

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Julie Smithwick, LMSW, PASOs Programs, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Paola Gutierrez, MHA, PASOs Programs, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Greenville, SC
Between 2000-2010, South Carolina experienced the fastest growth of its Latino population among all states. This new immigrant population faces challenging barriers to health care access such as language, cultural differences, fear and poverty. PASOs ( is a community-based organization that helps Latino communities and health providers work together for strong and healthy families. Through leadership, support and development of community health workers (CHWs), PASOs addresses social determinants of health and challenges disparities faced by this emerging population. 

To support very difficult-to-reach Latino communities with health information and resources, PASOs has used Spanish-language radio in four regions of SC. In 2013, PASOs’ CHWs hosted 158 radio shows delivering health messages through their own voices, talents, experiences and intimate knowledge of their communities’ issues and needs. The programs address maternal and child health, local resources, immigrant rights and responsibilities, and early childhood health. Topics are discussed using engaging techniques such as radionovelas (radiodramas) which CHWs co-wrote and in which they acted. Additionally, the programs include special guests, phone calls from the audience, raffles, song analyses and discussions.  Each radio show reaches approximately 2,500 people.

Utilizing these participatory methodologies, CHWs deliver health education to places and people distant from conventional health care systems, and they achieve greater amplification of their collective voice. In this presentation, a CHW will explain the development of this successful health education technique, share PASOs’ original radiodrama series (Las Reinas No Somos Tontas) and describe how to effectively implement a radio-based education program to reach underserved population groups.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the development and effective implementation of a successful and emerging health education technique using Spanish-language radio, to reach underserved population and hard-to-reach Latino immigrants.

Keyword(s): Immigrant Health, Community Health Workers and Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with Latino and immigrant communities for the last 17 years. I am the founder and director of PASOs, and worked with our community health workers to develop and implement the intervention we will be speaking on.
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.