This lack of access could be a result of many factors. For some communities, healthy food isn’t available. There may not be a grocery store within 10 or 20 miles and food is often purchased from fast food restaurants or convenience stores where many items are highly processed and have lower nutritional value than fresh produce. In some cases, healthy food may be technically available but not accessible.
It’s no secret that we are huge advocates of using the Community Health Worker model to increase breastfeeding rates among underserved populations. It’s an effective strategy that addresses the cultural barriers that many Hispanic women face when trying to access healthcare resources for maternal-infant health. The health and economic benefits of breastfeeding are well documented. However, despite breastfeeding’s distinction as an important public health issue, breastfeeding rates among the U.S. Hispanic population fall below Healthy People 2020 targets.
Un Paso a la Vez (“One Step at a Time”) is a new program in South Texas that uses Community Health Workers (CHWs) to help low-income, older Hispanic adults maintain independence with dignity. As part of the program, CHWs visit participants at their homes to identify their needs and create an action plan that involves their family and the larger community with the goal of supporting participants to remain in their homes with the appropriate support.
In its second year, the Instinto Maternal Program has collected, cleaned and analyzed information from a series of community surveys and interviews with Latina mothers who work in agriculture about their successful breastfeeding experiences.
At a doctor’s appointment, Catarino Velazco got some frightening news. In addition to a diabetes diagnosis, Catarino’s doctor told him his blood sugar had risen dangerously high. In a translated interview, Catarino admitted his first response was shock.
“When they told me that my blood sugar had spiked,” he said, “I thought ‘How did that happen? It couldn’t happen to me, right?’” His doctor prescribed him some medication to control his blood sugar and recommended that he start attending Salud y Vida (Health and Life) classes led by MHP Salud.