Hyland’s, Inc., the nation’s oldest manufacturer of homeopathic medicines, and the National Council of La Raza/CSULB (NCLR/CSULB) Center for Latino Community Health recently announced the formation of Las Promotoras de Hyland’s as part of their joint initiative, Salud con Hyland’s.
This innovative peer health education project provides expectant Spanish-speaking mothers in the greater Los Angeles area with culturally and linguistically relevant maternal and infant care information. The project will include direct one-on-one education through promotoras, trained community health educators, who will instruct program participants in Spanish on topics related to maternal and infant health care, infant feeding, accessing healthcare services and the integration of homeopathic medicines into baby care routines.
“Previous data are clear that providing Spanish-speaking community health workers specifically trained on first-year health matters is an effective way to reach Latina mothers,” stated Britt Rios-Ellis, director of the NCLR/CSULB Center. “We have designed this program in Spanish and made it culturally relevant to the maternal and infant care issues experienced by Latina mothers. The promotoras are well trained and, as members of their target communities, can provide culturally sensitive guidance and support to newer immigrant Latinas and their families.”
The promotoras will offer expectant Spanish-speaking mothers the social support, advocacy skills, and education necessary to assure both the health of the infant and the mother. Spanish-speaking patients, particularly those who have recently immigrated, often experience cultural and linguistic isolation that can lead to poor access to care, according to Rios-Ellis. Each promotora has undergone training in Spanish on a variety of maternal and infant care topics.
“Hyland’s has a longstanding commitment to accessible healthcare and a proud history of providing care for families at all stages of life. Supporting this program is one more way we can demonstrate our commitment to helping ensure a healthy start in life,” said J.P. Borneman, chairman and CEO of Hyland’s, Inc. “Research has shown that Latinos are more likely to utilize and trust all-natural, homeopathic medicines for their and their children’s ailments, so we are particularly pleased to partner with Dr. Rios-Ellis and her colleagues at the NCLR/CSULB Center to integrate homeopathic education into this program.”
In addition to the launch of the promotoras training, Salud con Hyland’s has produced a 12-month, Spanish-language, baby care calendar that allows parents to track baby development and provides health care tips. The promotoras will use the calendar as a tool in their training of mothers. The full-color calendar is available to health clinics and pre-natal community programs across the country and was also distributed by Wal-Mart stores nationally as part of their Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. The calendar also contains stickers that mothers can place on it to visually mark their infant’s developmental milestones to provide the mother with a record of their infant’s first year without requiring a great deal of writing.
In Los Angeles, Latina mothers account for more than 65 percent of all births. Throughout the United States, Latinos are more likely than any other racial or ethnic minority to be uninsured or underinsured and are less likely to use health services when available. Two of the most influential factors contributing to Hispanics’ reluctance to use health services are cost and lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Latinos often experience greater marginalization and inability to access maternal and child health care.
The Salud con Hyland’s Promotoras project will work with Latina immigrant mothers serving the greater Los Angeles County region. For more information please contact the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training at 562/985-5312.