Dade County, Fla., Proyecto HEAL Project Teams Seniors With Youths for Health Education

Program to Address Sociocultural Barriers to Health Care in Hispanic Communities

From 1992 to 1997, staff at the Little Havana Activities & Nutrition Center of Dade County, a social services provider in the South Florida area, implemented a program that teamed older adults with preadolescents for activities designed to promote a general awareness of health issues and to bring youth and seniors closer together.

The program's goals were to:

  • Provide program participants with an overview of Hispanic health concerns.
  • Examine how cultural values and beliefs affect participation in the health care system.
  • Teach program participants to become health advocates and to make use of skills they have acquired in their lives to help their communities obtain access to health care.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Program to Address Sociocultural Barriers to Health Care in Hispanic Communities national program.

Key Results:

  • Project staff developed four intergenerational teams in two cooperating schools, each with 25 youths and 25 seniors. The teams:
    • Introduced a health curriculum in the two participating schools.
    • Developed and produced Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on fire safety, tobacco and sexually transmitted diseases that were shown on local television twice or more daily for three months.
    • Made presentations at major health conferences and had their work recognized during a visit from First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1994.
  • The center established a health center in a space donated by the City of Miami.

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