Program to Address Sociocultural Barriers to Health Care in Hispanic Communities

An RWJF National Program

The Program to Address Sociocultural Barriers to Health Care in the Hispanic Community, known as Proyecto HEAL, developed and implemented community-based interventions to address sociocultural barriers to health care for Hispanic Americans.

The National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations (COSSMHO), located in Washington, served as the national program office.

The premise of the program was that Hispanic communities know their own problems and are most able to develop initiatives to address them successfully. Therefore, all program planning and implementation were conducted by eight local health coalitions and community-based service agencies working under subcontract to the national program office.

Limited documentation at the sites prevents confirmation of numbers of people the program reached, but the evaluation report indicated that at least 2,800 youth and parents enrolled in site programs.

The evaluation also indicated that the community-based organizations at each site became connected with many health-related agencies in their communities and leveraged significant additional resources, including funding, for many of their initiatives. This infrastructure development was one of the key accomplishments of Proyecto HEAL.