Casa de Salud: A Model for Engaging Community

Dates: 2000-2005

State: Massachusetts

Client(s): Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Applied Research & Evaluation, Training & Technical Assistance

Technical Expertise: Environmental Health, Health Disparities, Maternal and Child Health, Community Health Coalitions

Casa de Salud: A Model for Engaging Community was an outreach and education effort designed to engage residents of highly stressed neighborhoods of Lawrence, Massachusetts, in activities to mitigate the health impacts of environmental toxins and their effects on public health. Casa de Salud was a collaboration that brings together residents, health care providers, and environmental health advocates in a mutually supportive collaborative program.

Promotoras (health promoters) that are community residents, were recruited, trained, and supported to conduct outreach and education in neighborhood and community settings to identify and address environmental issues as they affect the health of residents in a majority minority underserved city. Neighborhood settings such as churches and public housing offer a non-threatening venue where residents outnumber experts and neighborhood culture is dominant. The Promotoras acted as resources to other community members and mentored and supported residents to access health and social resources offered by the community.

Casa de Salud is a model approach that is being used to address environmental health issues for all ages from young children in child care to seniors in subsidized housing and among multiple sectors such as youth in the schools and workers in high hazard jobs.


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