"Promotores and Promotoras are community members who promote health in their own communities. They provide leadership, peer education, support, and resources to support community empowerment. As members of minority and underserved populations they are in a unique position to build on strengths and to address unmet health needs in their communities.
These humble cohort generally referred to as Promotores(as) or Promotores(as) de Salud, literally "health promoters", integrate information about health and the health care system into the community's culture, language and value system, thus reducing many of the barriers to health services. They also help make health care systems more responsive. With the appropriate resources, training and support, Promotores(as) improve the health of their communities by linking their neighbors to health care and social services, by educating their peers about disease and injury prevention, by working to make available services more accessible and by mobilizing their communities to create positive change.
This statewide symposium was organized through a collaboration of the California Department of Public Health-Office of Binational Border Health, San Diego Community College District, San Diego Prevention Research Center, National University, and the Chula Vista Community Collaborative in celebration of Border Binational Health Week.
The Keynote speaker, Teresa Niño, Director for U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of Community Engagement, shared new information about potential opportunities for community clinics, health centers, and city, state, and other agencies through the National Promotores de Salud Health Initiative of the federal government.
Lectures and discussions about best practices and the challenges and benefits of involving promotores (both volunteer and paid) were the highlights of the event. Our very own Dr Alba Lucia Diaz co-facillitated a workshop about the Ulysses syndrome and ways by which promotores(as) can address this sensitive issue among new immigrants in their communities. Students from cohort 1&2 served as volunteers at the event, and as one of the volunteers, I believe I can speak for others that it was indeed a rewarding experience.
--MPH Cohort 2 Student, Adaeze Ibe