We are happy to announce that the Camarena Health Promotores de Salud is continuing to partner with UC Merced for a new research project. The project “Promotoras and Community Based Education” addresses asthma issues in the San Joaquin Valley and is supported by a two-year, nearly $500,000 grant from biotechnology giant Genetech Foundation.
As the Promotoras de Salud program consists of dedicated and hardworking healthcare volunteers who are passionate about their community’s wellbeing, this project is vital to the four million Californians living here. The San Joaquin Valley is one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, which adversely creates some of the nation’s worst air quality and high childhood asthma rates.
Nearly 5,000 children and more than 16,000 adults in Merced County alone have asthma.
The project is based on a pilot last summer that paired Promotoras with medical students in the UCSF San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) program to address diabetes-related health disparities and increase positive outcomes in underserved populations.
Promotoras will train over the next two years to collaborate with medical students to deliver asthma-management education, tips to Valley residents, and help address cultural gaps. The projected hope is to begin providing virtual home interventions to the community in the summer of 2021, which will also last for the next two years.
Some of the biggest drivers of health problems include a lack of information, lack of access to doctors, and that people often don’t make time to care for their health.
“Sometimes, the last thing on people’s minds is going to a class to learn about their health,” said Claudia Chavez, community engagement manager for Camarena. “This program offers multiple ways to increase success.”
Head of the project and Principal Investigator Rosa D. Manzo, Ph.D., stated, “The Promotoras said people in the community were more willing to listen and act because the medical students were there with them and following up with the community members. The students were also able to see barriers of everyday life that can get in the way of patients’ adherence to recommendations and better able to understand where the patients are coming from.”
The health and safety of the community is everything to Camarena Health. With our Promotores de Salud volunteers’ continued success, we look forward to seeing asthma cases decrease in the coming years.
For more information about Camarena Health’s Promotores de Salud Program’s work, or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Claudia Chavez at firstname.lastname@example.org.