Transcript: Promotores de Salud
I have a pretty unique role here at the University of Arizona. As their outreach librarian I fulfill the land-grant mission, which is our responsibility to serve all communities in the state of Arizona. My end goal is to increase health literacy in the whole state.
The University of Arizona Health Sciences Library is the resource library within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine for the State of Arizona. It's a role that we've had for a very long time and we're very proud of that and we work very hard on that work knowing that it has an impact on our citizens here in the state. So our areas of focus really align with what's unique and specific and special about this part of the country. We do border health work - in that capacity focusing on Spanish language instruction. We also work with indigenous peoples - the various tribal communities - we also have a focus on K-12. One of the things that really excites me about the outreach work that we do is that intersectionality when all three communities come together. That's one of the specific and unusual things about the region where we live, that we have these populations and that there is that opportunity and that engagement with all three.
The Mexican Consulate was a very strong partner that I identified when doing work with the Spanish-speaking community. “Promotores” are lay workers that have been identified by the community as leaders that can help them navigate the health system. We have promotores that work in clinics, we've got promotores who are community promotores, and that model actually started off in Mexico so it's a very interesting concept and very kind of unique to our region. In today's particular session they were very interested in learning more about social determinants of health so we did a little bit of activity to kind of get that going and define it ourselves. I tied in a lot of the cultural aspect by bringing in music that is very popular in that particular community, and really kind of getting them to think about health topics and how our ambience really affects our health. And then went ahead and introduced them to some of the National Library of Medicine resources as a way for them to introduce those resources to the clientele that they work with but also empower them to question a lot of the things that are going on in their environment and to really be their own advocates when it comes to health.
Where would we be without the resources of the National Library of Medicine? It's critical for the constituencies that we serve. Many of the groups with which we work are traditionally underrepresented in the health care environment—underserved populations.
The Pacific Southwest region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine covers over six time zones. We have many different populations and we make use of some of the academic medical centers as kind of leverage for our outreach program. And we can offer them some funding that helps support the work that they do in their regions.
A lot of the communities that I've worked with are really impressed or hadn't heard of these resources before and they're very appreciative to the National Library of Medicine for putting those out there for their use.
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