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Promotores as Partners in a Community-based Diabetes Intervention Program Targeting Hispanics

McCloskey, Joanne PhD

Section Editor(s): Rao, Satya P. PhD, CHES

doi: 10.1097/01.FCH.0000342816.87767.e6

Promotores, community health workers, are a pivotal component of LA VIDA, a diabetes intervention program targeting Hispanics who have or are at risk for diabetes. The purpose of this qualitative study was to evaluate the role of LA VIDA promotores in reducing diabetes health disparities among Hispanics in southwestern New Mexico. Interviews with 17 promotores revealed that they effectively relate to their clients as fellow community members who understand the culture and often know clients and their families. Promotores facilitate access to healthcare and social services, enroll participants in educational and physical activities, support lifestyle changes, and conduct LA VIDA intervention and prevention activities. Through their education and advocacy for clients, promotores act as healthcare navigators for numerous health and social services while providing support for personal and family issues. Their role transcends that of educator and advocate for clients as they develop community partnerships and collaborate with community groups to implement health-related activities. In essence, promotores become community partners in their efforts to build capacity and promote healthy Hispanic communities.

From the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Corresponding author: Joanne McCloskey, PhD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.