The objective of the Promotora program is to increase access to and coordination of state programs on the Texas-Mexico border in Webb County and Zapata County.
Census data revealed that in Webb County there are 39,426 children living below poverty levels – about 44% of the area's child population. These impoverished children have higher rates of illness and disease compared to the national average due to inadequate housing, unsafe living environments, and inadequate nutrition. Promotoras provide these families health education and connect them to community resources. The Promotoras serve a minimum of 2,100 individuals a year.
Promotoras are bilingual liaisons between health care providers and patients. Promotoras promote state program services by connecting one on one with potential clients. They may assist in case conferences, providing patient education, make referrals to health and social services, conduct needs assessments, distributing surveys to identify barriers to health care delivery, make home visits to ensure follow-thru with scheduled appointments, and they may provide translation services in appointment. Promotoras use a client door to door strategy to connect with potential clients and families in need. When a Promotora encounters a family that could benefit from certain medical services including prenatal and postnatal care they are referred to BCFS' Healthy Start program.
There are three full-time and one part time Promotora on the BCFS team, and they're out in the community 5 days a week. They share office space with another BCFS program, Healthy Start Laredo.
The Promotoras are also part of the South Texas Promotora Association who provide health education and assist with navigating the health care system along the US-Mexico Border. STPA provides training, support and bring continued education for Promotoras to always remain up to date in their mission to Motivate, Initiate, Navigate, and Educate.