Planned Parenthood Northern California: Contra Costa Promotores/Community Health Worker Multi-Year Initiative
East Contra Costa County residents experience significant health disparities when compared to the rest of the county, including much higher rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Because research has consistently shown that culturally competent outreach and care provision can help lessen such disparities, in July 2016, the John Muir/Mt. Diablo Community Health Fund (CHF) awarded Planned Parenthood Northern California (PPNorCal) a $100,000 grant that will allow the organization to develop and pilot a formal Promotores/Community Health Worker certification program.
The program builds on an existing PPNorCal Promotores program, which has operated successfully in Concord since 2007. Traditionally, promotores work in Latino communities to provide culturally appropriate services ranging from patient advocacy and education to outreach and translation. This new project will help extend this type of service to East Contra Costa County’s diverse communities, including Latino, African American and Asian residents, with the goal of increasing access to and use of the region’s health care services and wellness programs.
The grant supports the first year of a three-year plan of action aimed at developing and piloting the Promotores/Community Health Worker certification program. Expected outcomes in this first year include:
- The securing of a memorandum of understanding that will enable PPNorCal to partner with a local academic institution on training the community health workers
- Hiring of a senior health educator
- Development of a comprehensive curriculum
- Recruitment of the first cohort of participants for the formal program launch in July 2017. Recruitment will target communities of color at a variety of settings, including recreational centers, community meetings, social events and health centers.