Hispanic Volunteer Program Deemed Best

Contact: Amy Gilliam

 

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The Promotoras program has proven to be so successful that the model has been used to implement a similar effort for the African-American community in north Lexington . Health Educators Linking People to Services (HELPS) has worked in partnership with the Community Outreach Partnership Center, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Health Department, and the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA and has graduated 32 community health workers.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2004) -- The North Central Kentucky Health Education Training Center (NCHETC), funded through a University of Kentucky federal HETC initiative, received the 2004 Award of Excellence at the recent 2004 National Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Organization meeting in Baltimore, Md. The award was presented to the NCHETC in recognition of the “Promotoras” program, a program that trains Hispanic volunteers to assist community members in improving the health status and access of health care for Central Kentucky’s Hispanic population.

Modeled on a national program, the Promotoras program recruits members of the Hispanic community to attend a 13-week training program that provides participants with basic information regarding health issues that are important to the community. Participants also learn some basic skills, such as how to take blood pressure and temperatures, and receive American Red Cross certification in first aid and CPR. The participants are trained to counsel and provide health guidance to individuals in their neighborhoods. Upon graduation, Promotoras receive a blood pressure cuff, a stethoscope, a digital thermometer, and a first aid kit to use as they counsel community members. Since its beginning, the program has graduated 101 trained Promotoras. Through federal funding, the classes are offered free of charge.

The Promotoras program was launched in 2001 under the direction of Rosa Martin, community program director, NCHETC. Martin draws upon 15 years of experience as a migrant health educator in Florida and Kentucky.

“This award is a significant acknowledgement from our peers,” said Martin. “The award helps further health care to underserved populations in central Kentucky.”

The Promotoras program has proven to be so successful that the model has been used to implement a similar effort for the African-American community in north Lexington . Health Educators Linking People to Services (HELPS) has worked in partnership with the Community Outreach Partnership Center, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Health Department, and the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA and has graduated 32 community health workers.

James C. Norton, AHEC/HETC program administrator at the University of Kentucky, said, “The Promotoras and HELPS programs are exciting because they allow community members to share their knowledge and expertise with their neighbors. The graduates of these programs are working to promote healthy living in their families and communities.”


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