Promotores de Salud
Special Projects Fund
September 20, 2007
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, obesity).
The Ibero-American Action League is uniquely positioned as upstate New York’s largest advocacy organization serving and controlled by Latinos. It has 39 years of experience, and serves more than 3,000 individuals annually. Promotores de Salud (“Health Promoters”) is a new two-year program that will use NYHealth funding to train eight Latino community health outreach workers.
The trained promotores will conduct outreach to individuals in need of health care services and connect them to insurance resources and a medical “home.” The promotores will also provide educational workshops and transportation, interpretation/translation, and patient navigation services for individuals with targeted diagnoses (diabetes, asthma, heart disease, elevated lead levels, and obesity). Promotores de Salud has the potential to reduce inappropriate emergency room visits, promote better use and understanding of the health care system, and increase use of specialist care. The Rochester Primary Care Network will partner with Ibero to evaluate the project. The evaluation will be used in efforts to leverage additional resources and plan for long-term sustainability of promotores in Rochester.