Posts tagged promotora
Latinas are less physically active than Latino men and are less likely to meet physical activity guidelines than other population groups.
This inactivity may lead to obesity and associated conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
To improve Latinas’ health, a new five-year, $3.48 million study will use promotoras—trained community health workers—to lead culturally appropriate group education and exercise sessions for Latinas in community centers in South Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley, says study leader Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) in the School of Medicine of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Participants also will get newsletters and telephone counseling.
The effort, called Enlace (which means to “connect” or “join” in English) and funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to increase Latinas’ physical activity rates.
“The idea behind Enlace is that, through this promotora intervention, Latinas will gain an otherwise-unavailable layer of social support to overcome barriers to activity and make positive behavioral changes—namely that Latinas engage in 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on five or more days a week,” Dr. Parra-Medina said.
Dr. Parra-Medina and her colleagues had identified several barriers that influence physical activity behaviors among Latinas in South Texas: the dominance of work and family responsibilities, time, social isolation, lack of social support and personal motivation, access issues (e.g., program costs, lack of childcare and transportation), neighborhood safety and other factors.
For the new Enlace study, Dr. Parra-Medina’s team will recruit 704 Latinas ages 18-64 who do not meet federal physical activity guidelines from eight community resource centers in impoverished areas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Half the women will be randomly assigned to the Enlace intervention, which includes 16 once-a-week promotora-led group exercise sessions; and 24 weeks of a maintenance intervention with monthly promotora-delivered newsletters and telephone counseling.
The other half will serve as a control group.
Dr. Parra-Medina’s team will compare the two groups based on minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, physical fitness, wand other factors.
“We hypothesize that Latinas in the intervention group will significantly increase their levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, compared to those in the control group,” Dr. Parra-Medina said.
Read more here.
Armida Flores was a professional abuela—babysitting her granddaughters, volunteering at their schools, etc.—until they moved to California a few years ago.
Then Flores wasn’t sure what to do with her newfound spare time.
So the Mexico native, who was 30 years removed from school, didn’t know much English and had no career training, decided to enroll in bilingual nursing classes at Palo Alto College in San Antonio and simultaneously earned her GED in Spanish in 2008.
She also took beginner and advanced English to polish her language skills, and in May 2012 earned an associate’s degree in social work, psychology and Spanish.
“The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was to accept that I am not too old to start a new process in my life,” said Flores. “Now that I have overcome this obstacle, I continue working to improve my language and computer skills.”
She’s kick-started her career as a health educator at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
She serves as a patient navigator to help cancer survivors navigate the complex health care system, get emotional support, and access needed care services.
She also is a promotora—a community health worker for Latinos—on an IHPR-LIVESTRONG partnership to identify Latino cancer patients and refer them to LIVESTRONG’s cancer survivor services.
LIVESTRONG recently lauded Flores for having the highest number of referrals, and invited her to a national conference in July 2012.
Flores also coordinates workshops, member recruitment and record-keeping for the San Antonio Community Health Association, and she co-founded the Cuenta Conmigo cancer support group for Spanish speakers.
“Armida is the perfect bridge between our Latino community and our health care providers/system,” said IHPR researcher Sandra San Miguel de Majors. “Latino cancer survivors are able to relate to her because she’s from their own community, she speaks their same language and she understands their culture and barriers.
“I admire her positive attitude and willingness to help everyone. She’s got a quiet approach, but makes a very strong impact in our community.”
Flores hopes to eventually earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling.
“My motivations to accomplish my goals are my family, myself, and my desire to learn how to be able to help people in my community,” she said.
Find the latest in Latino health—from fighting Latina cervical cancer to innovative ways to tackle Latino childhood obesity—in the new E-newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The IHPR E-newsletter has these stories:
- Story and Video: Preventing Cervical Cancer in South Texas (Pg 1)
- Story: How an “Exercise Avoider” Became an “Exercise Promoter” (Pg 2)
- Story: The Importance of Latino Biospecimens (Pg 2)
- Story: 20 Studies Tackle Latino Childhood Obesity (Pg 3)
- Story: Who is Promotora of the Year? (Pg 4)
- Videos: “Feeding Minds” Series Addresses Hunger, Obesity in Texas (Pg 6)
The E-newsletter is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
The IHPR, led by health disparities research expert Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, investigates the causes and solutions to the unequal impact of cancer and chronic disease among certain populations, including Latinos, in San Antonio, South Texas and the nation. The IHPR, founded in 2006, uses evidence-guided research, training and community outreach to improve the health of those at a disadvantage due to race/ethnicity or social determinants, such as education or income.
To address the needs of Latino cancer survivors, the LIVESTRONG organization created a cancer survivorship training curriculum to increase the number of Latino community health workers, otherwise known as promotores, and their skills, knowledge and confidence on the physical, emotional and day-to-day concerns of cancer survivors.
To date, LIVESTRONG has trained more than 500 promotores across the country.
What exactly is a promotora?
Watch this video of Guadalupe Cornejo, a promotora at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, who explains what she does and who she helps.
A “promotora“—or trained community health educator—from the Institute for Health Promotion Research’s Latino cancer research network has been named “Promotora of the Year” by Spanish-language publication El Latino.
Alma Sandoval is one of six network promotoras from the IHPR’s network, Redes En Acción, who have been working at regional sites across the nation to increase Latino cancer survivors’ access to LIVESTRONG’s national navigation services. Redes En Acción is directed by IHPR director Dr. Amelie Ramirez. The promotora project is coordinated by IHPR researcher Sandra San Miguel.
Sandoval works for the San Ysidro Health Center in San Diego, a Redes En Acción regional site.
The IHPR, based at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, is the team behind SaludToday.
Hispanic immigrants in California’s San Joaquin Valley are more likely to get health services if a health educator can help them overcome language and other barriers to care, according to two new studies reported by the Fresno Bee.
The story said researchers from the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University, Fresno, were surprised by the many barriers facing Hispanic imigrants:
- Only 10% of undocumented immigrants had health insurance or a regular doctor.
- Documented and undocumented immigrants said they experienced poor treatment at doctors’ offices.
- Others said the enrollment process to apply for services was intimidating, she said.
The story indicated that access to a health educator, known as a promotora, increased an immigrant’s access to preventive health services.