Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Ibero-American Action League, Inc.

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

April 2011

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

September 2007 – August 2009


There are significant differences in the causes of mortality and in access to health care between Latinos and the broader population of Rochester, New York that reflect inadequate access to health care services, as well as a failure to use existing community services.

Latino patients being treated and released at hospital emergency departments for illnesses or complaints that could otherwise be treated in an outpatient setting is an indicator of the lack of a “medical home,” or a usual source of care. Patients who lack a medical home do not have easy access to timely, well organized health care. The Ibero-American Action League, Inc. created a Promotores de Salud (“Health Promoters”) program that encourages better use and understanding of the health care system among Latinos in the greater Rochester area. It reaches out to individuals in need of health care services and connects them to a “medical home” and to insurance resources. It also provides educational workshops and transportation, interpretation/translation, and patient navigation services for area Latinos with targeted health conditions (allergy, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lead poisoning, mental health, Promotores de Saludand obesity).

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Worked with the Rochester Primary Care Network (RPCN), a Federally Qualified Health Center, to examine the needs of Rochester’s Latino community, the existing system of health care providers and programs, service gaps and barriers, and best practices used elsewhere that might be used to improve access and care for the Latino population.
  • Offered a Promotores de Salud program, targeting low-income Latinos in the Rochester area to encourage them to use the existing health care system in a more appropriate way, to avoid emergency department overuse, and to ensure access to care for those in need.
  • Created educational workshops for patients who exhibited the targeted health conditions, and assisted those who required transportation and translation/interpretation services with keeping medical appointments.
  • Dr. America Bracho of Latino Health Access in Santa Ana, California—the nation’s foremost trainer in the Promotores model—conducted intensive training of Promotores, including patient education on the targeted health conditions.
  • RPCN training staff worked with Ibero’s management team and Dr. Bracho to design and implement additional monthly in-service trainings for the Promotores.
  • Engaged in outreach to identify low-income, uninsured individuals in need of a medical home, and worked to leverage additional funding from major payers (health plans), to allow them to continue the Promotores program after the end of the grant period.