UA SRP Pilots New Promotora Training Module in Mexico

The University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) and Dean Carter Binational Center for Environmental Health Sciences have developed and piloted another module in the series of “Transferable Training Modules on Environmental Science.” The module is entitled “Health Risks from Environmental Exposures” and covers topics such as everyday risks, dose-response, hazards consequences, and biological variability.

Like the other modules in the series, the risk module was developed for use by promotoras de salud or community health advocates. It comprises background information, a PowerPoint presentation, hands-on activity ideas, and additional resources. It is designed based on a “train-the-trainer” model and provides instructional materials that guide promotoras on the development and implementation of interactive trainings. Funding for this chapter of the modules was provided by a Community Connections grant from the University of Arizona Foundation. The risk module was developed collaboratively by promotoras working for the Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. (SERI) of Tucson, AZ and Denise Moreno Ramírez, UA SRP Community Engagement Coordinator. UA SRP investigator Dr. Miranda Loh was the expert advisor on the project.

Ms. Moreno Ramírez, Dr. Loh, and SERI promotoras Maria Luisa Morales, Florecita Morales, and Susana Vazquez travelled to the Naco Wellness Center’s Casas Saludables in Naco, Sonora, Mexico to pilot test the new module and to present an existing module on pesticides on June 19, 2013.  The SERI promotoras led a group that included representatives from Casas Saludables, Naco Library, Mexican Red Cross, Municipal Civil Protection, and Naco Fire Fighters through a presentation and hands-on activities.

Tom Carlson, President of Naco Wellness Center, was very pleased with the training, and spoke of the benefits it brought to his program. “Everyone loved all of the special attention you gave, from the workshop itself to the snacks and prizes, and especially your friendship. We will be working the materials into our community health education programming.”

While in Naco, the group from Tucson also had the opportunity to provide a special radio interview with Vicente Borquez López, director of the radio station (Radio Cultural Stereo 106.9 FM). Community listeners from the sister cities of Naco, Sonora and Bisbee, Arizona had the opportunity to learn about the endeavor.

Mr. Carlson looks forward to additional opportunities for collaboration: “I know that we can find opportunities to work together that will be of great benefit to the services of the clinic, and to the people of Naco. There is such need for additional medical attention, and health education programs for both young and old, and we would love to partner with you as we go about reaching out to those people.”

Once finalized, the Health Risks from Environmental Exposures module will be available in English and Spanish on the UA SRP and Binational Center websites for free download, along with the currently available modules.