Sunday, July 02, 2006

Proyecto Puentes de Salud: The Mission and Purpose

Our founding goal is to serve as a “health bridge” between underserved Hispanic/Latino communities and needed health services, to ameliorate health care inequalities. To achieve this we are working with community members of Juventino Rosas, Mexico to provide free services to underserved and disadvantaged municipalities surrounding Juventino Rosas. We are conducting primary research through survey and data collection to better understand the risk factors for cardiovascular events and contraction of HIV in the Hispanic/ Latino population both in Mexico and the large immigrant population in the US where the project will continue in the fall of 2006. Our interests our bimodal; we have selected these two topics based on an early investigation in Juventino Rosas where doctors and lay health workers were interviewed about the primary health concerns of the region.

We are currently working to provide accessible HIV screenings to the communities of Juventino Rosas and are presenting original public health classes about HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection. Our free consults consist of a primary risk assessment followed by the the Oraquick® Advance™ Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test and a discussion of risk reduction strategies. During this interaction we complete an anonymous questionnaire to learn more about the knowledge base and risks of HIV in this population. We are also specifically looking at the relation of risk in the local population and immigration as the majority of the men in the communities we are visiting are working in the US.

With the help of Dr. Mauricio Cohen we were able to add a thorough cardiovascular component where we provide Blood Pressure, BMI, Blood Sugar, and Lipid screenings, as well as counseling and education about diabetes risks and prevention. Following the screening participants are giving a consult regarding their results. During this session we talk about about the risks of hypertension and heart disease, and ways they can improve their health through diet and exercise. When there is immediate need for medical intervention present we are able to directly refer participants into the local medical system. We have close contacts in both the public and private sectors of the local medical services. At least twice a week we are offering classes on Cardiovascular Health.

This project is intended to promote the long term Sister-City relationship between Juventino Rosas and Carrboro, NC, and to establish a long term medical affiliation between UNC School of Medicine and the medical community of Juventino Rosas. Our project will allow medical students motivated to work with Hispanic/Latino populations in North Carolina to experience the culture and medical system of Mexico (where many of their future patients first experienced health care).

We hope to reduce the incidence of new HIV infection among the underserved populations of JR by providing culturally sensitive HIV/AIDS prevention education, community outreach programming, and HIV screenings. We hope to strengthen and facilitate knowledge and understanding of the risks of diabetes and hypertension among Juventino Rosas community members, by providing free screenings and consultations. Finally, we hope to reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event and reduce the complications of long term diabetes for the hundreds of participants that will benefit from our screenings.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Betsy said...

Ian -- This project is amazing. Good luck with everything and I look forward to reading about it here.

I recently went to a conference where Dr. David Hayes-Bautista of UCLA spoke about cultural competence/immigrant health -- you might find this article he wrote for the American Journal of Preventative Medicine interesting -- "Research on Culturally Competent Healthcare Systems: Less Sensitivity, More Statistics"

(http://atpm.org/publications/AJPM_Supplement_Apr03/CompetentHealthcareSystems.pdf)

In other news, I miss you and am glad to hear that you're doing well.

July 28, 2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 17, 2006 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hola ian.. como estas..

no se si te acuerdes de mi... nos conocimos en guanajuato...presisamente cuando estabas trabajando con el proyecto de puentes de salud.. soy cinthia amiga de tripp tambien...
.. no preguntes como di con tu blog..pero me dio mucho gusto encontrarlo.. me rei mucho con tu anegdota del viaje...es muy divertida...
..bueno solo queria saludar.. me da gusto que hayan tenido exito con el proyecto...

saludos

January 17, 2007 7:25 PM  
Blogger Puentes de Salud said...

Hi, Dont know if this is still an activie program/ blog, but we have a similar program in Philadelphia (see our page at www.puentesdesalud.blogspot.com)
Best of luck, and perhaps we could share ideas/ experiences between groups!
Rebecca Bixby
Program Director
Latina Community Health Services,
Puentes de Salud

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