Community Health Promoter 10 week Training ProgramBackground:
The Rio Grande Valley has long been known to be one of the four great "pockets of poverty" in the United States; in fact, there is no other place in North America where human suffering affects every facet of life like it does in the rural colonia areas. Poverty and poor health are partners, and each affects the other in a debilitating way. It is clear that this is an area where residents can benefit from development of skills and confidence and a place where human suffering, limited health knowledge and poor access to care offer a supreme opportunity for the implementation of a Community Health Education Program.
A Community Health Training Program for chosen residents of the Texas/Mexican border area near Pharr, Texas, is an outgrowth of the Pharr Community Outreach Project (PCOP), sponsored and supported by the Pharr United methodist Church. The PCOP later spawned the Pharr Literacy Project (PLP). In 2003 the PCOP received certification to become a "Community of Shalom" with three program areas: Literacy, Health and Wellness, and Faith Outreach. These areas emphasize 4 elements: 1) Make Disciples of Jesus Christ, (2 Strengthen Develop and Renew Christian Congregations (3Alleviate Human Suffering and (4 Seek Justice, Freedom and Peace.
In 2009 the project received a Conference and a GBGM grant that allowed for further program development. By 2010 two project leaders were able to observe an established health promoter training program taught by UMVIM health volunteers working in Panama.
Preparation and Initiation of Community Health Training:
Upon return from Panama, the project leaders trained other local leaders. By October 15, 2010 twenty health promoter students started the first of four training modules. The target date for the first class course completion and implementation in each of three Colonias is scheduled for September, 2011.
Long-term goals with specific measurable objectives for each phase were developed. They included:
- Weekly data collection and electronic data entry
- correlation of data with results sent to appropriate staff
- Written evaluation of objectives with reports sent to Board and colonia residents
- Mid-year and annual reports sent to Granting Agencies