03/12/2018, By Valley of the Sun United Way
PHOENIX (March 12, 2018) — In many parts of our community, poverty is one of the biggest challenges almost everyone faces on a day-to-day basis.
Many families in the Phoenix community are below the poverty line, and struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table. Connecting them with key resources to help them overcome these challenges can be difficult. But thanks to an innovative idea, there’s a new partner in the fight against poverty.
Our communities are growing stronger with the expertise of healthcare extenders like “Promotores de Salud”, known as Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Community Health Representatives (CHRs). The Promotores advance healthy aging and eating, physical activity, chronic disease prevention, and proper maternal and child health, across local neighborhoods.
These healthcare extenders bridge the gap and help improve outcomes among families facing poverty, multiple health conditions, food insecurity, lack of awareness of community resources or misunderstanding of the healthcare system. Better access to health-related information can lead to better chronic disease self-management, higher medication adherence, and lower unnecessary emergency room visits.
The frontline health workers typically represent the communities they serve and help bridge cultural and linguistic barriers by increasing access to healthcare and improving health outcomes. Helping Other Promotores Excel (HOPE) Network, established in 2009 in collaboration with Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation, focuses on Promotores/ Community Health Workers in Maricopa County.
“Bringing Promotores, CHWs, and CHRs together and offering them support, information, and education is critical. But, at HOPE, we also take the time celebrate their work and remind them they are not alone. They have a family of Promotores/CHWs they can reach out to for support,” said Berta Carbajal, co-founder of the HOPE Network. “Today we are doing exactly what we set out to do, which is to Help Other Promotores Excel. There is still a lot of work to do in reaching untapped communities of Promotores. We address a need in the community by helping organizations see the value of Promotores and their ability to connect with the community.”
The ASU College of Nursing and The HOPE Network, with support from Maricopa Integrated Care and Valley of the Sun United Way, are hosting a “Dia Del Promotor” on March 16 at Arizona State University Preparatory Academy in downtown Phoenix.
DATE: Friday, March 16, 2018 8:00 am-3:00 pm | A variety of workshops will be held for Promotores.
LOCATION: ASU Preparatory Academy
735 E. Fillmore St. Phoenix, 85006
Members of the media will have an opportunity to speak with the promotores and learn how they are making a difference in their communities. If you would like to attend, please contact Tom Evans at the number above.
At the “Dia Del Promotor” the promotores will have an opportunity to network and to learn more about how they can serve as leaders in their communities, including working toward their Community Health Worker (CHW) and Community Health Representative (CHR) designations.
United Way is training “Promotores” — respected leaders in the Maryvale community with broad relationships and connections — to educate their friends, family and colleagues on the best way to access the resources they need on a day-to-day basis. These Promotores — “promoters” in Spanish — are learning how to connect the dots on behalf of residents of their communities and help get them on a path to financial stability.
“We are working to break the cycle of poverty and know that Promotores are serious about improving the health and economic situation of the communities we work with,” said Jayson Matthews, Director of Community Impact for Valley of the Sun United Way. “We saw a need to really engage with people at the community level and connect with people they know and trust. We invite them to be part of the solution and co-create solutions for their communities.”
ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the Promotores HOPE Network, with support from Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care and United Way, will host the first-ever “Dia del Promotor” to increase awareness of the innovative projects and activities being led by Promotores de Salud/Community Health Workers in Maricopa County and celebrate the often unsung heroes making a difference in underserved communities throughout the Valley.
About Promotores/Community Health Workers
Arizona is home to over 1,000 Community Health Workers and that number continues to grow as the workforce becomes more recognized among healthcare systems, community based organizations, and volunteer organizations.
About ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation
The College of Nursing & Health Innovation (CONHI) is distinguished as a model for excellence and inspiration in nursing and interprofessional practice, education, and research to advance knowledge and innovative practice models, and new solutions to optimize the health and well-being of our diverse local, national and global communities.
About Valley of the Sun United Way
Since 1925, Valley of the Sun United Way has unified diverse partners, donors, business supporters, nonprofits, government and faith-based communities to build a stronger Valley for us all. United Way and its 90,000 donors, 400 business supporters and 5,000 volunteers fight to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring children and youth succeed, ending hunger and homelessness, and increasing the financial stability of families. Join the fight, visit vsuw.org.