Promotores de Salud

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The Promotores de Salud Program trains Hispanic women and men to be lay health resource persons (Promotores) in their community through a 40-hour training program that educates the Promotores in Spanish about a variety of important health topics. The Promotores then share their new knowledge with others by performing health encounters such as distributing and explaining health literature, or participating in community health fairs. Through this work, the Promotores become established within the community as reliable sources of important health information. By sharing accurate information in ways that are culturally appropriate, Promotores help to reduce health disparities and make healthy living a possibility for all members of the community.

In early 2011, the South River Science Team began collaborating with members of the Promotores de Salud as part of the team's effort to educate communities along the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River about the mercury fish consumption advisories. The Hispanic population in the Central and Northern Shenandoah Valley has increased significantly in recent years, and the South River Science Team has responded by taking a more interactive approach to communicate the fish consumption advisory to this community. Standard courses were adapted to include the mercury fish consumption advisories. Eighteen Promotores graduated the first year, with five more joining their ranks in 2013 and 26 more in 2014. The Promotores are residents of Luray, Shenandoah, McGaheysville, Waynesboro, and Harrisonburg and represent five Latin American countries.

In 2014, the program focused on a younger audience, introducing Promotores Jr! Aimed at 14- to 18-year olds within the Latino community, Promotores Jr. focuses on four main topics (physical health, mental health, sexual health, and health careers), encouraging this younger generation to take care of their minds and bodies and promoting medical field careers. In 2015 and 2016, the program will continues with this focus, with plans to bring the course to other high schools along the river in towns like Waynesboro, Spotswood, and East Rockingham.

If you would like to sponsor a training or community event, help with recruitment, or participate in the training as a presenter or trainee, contact Carmen Moreno, MPH, RD, Program Coordinator, at 540-568-5284 or .