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Community Health Workers-Promotores de Salud in Mexico: History and Potential for Building Effective Community Actions

Balcazar, Hector PhD; Perez-Lizaur, Ana Bertha MCS; Izeta, Ericka Escalante PhD; Villanueva, Maria Angeles MCS

Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: January/March 2016 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 12–22
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000096
Community Health Worker Voices from the Field

This article takes a historical perspective combining 3 illustrative examples of the origins of the community health worker (CHW) model in Mexico, as a community-based participatory strategy. Three examples were identified from the sparse literature about CHWs in Mexico emphasizing their key roles and functions in various community settings. The CHW models illustrate what is known of training-development and planning, implementation, and evaluation of the CHWs model in different settings addressing cardiovascular disease and risk factors. The potential exists for integrating CHW projects to expand the health promotion model with new emphasis on municipality and regional participation.

Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, El Paso, Texas (Dr Balcazar); Departamento de Salud, Universidad Iberoamericana, Santa Fe, Mexico City, Mexico (Ms Perez-Lizaur and Dr Escalante); and Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Universidad No. 655, Colonia Santa Maria Ahuacatitlan, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (Ms Villanueva).

Correspondence: Hector Balcazar, PhD, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, El Paso Regional Campus, 1101 N, Campbell CH 410, El Paso, TX 79902 (Hector.G.Balcazar@uth.tmc.edu).

His work was conducted as part of the sabbatical program by Dr Hector Balcazar at the Department of Health, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City.

This study was funded by Promotores Program Universidad Iberoamericana: Fundación SERTULL AC. Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública: Fondos Mixtos CONACYT-Morelos.

All authors do not have conflicts of interest to declare.

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