Watsonville, Calif., Proyecto HEAL Provides Health Education to Underserved Youth and Families

Program to Address Sociocultural Barriers to Health Care in Hispanic Communities

From 1992 to 1997, staff at Salud Para la Gente conducted a project to:

  • Address overall community health status.
  • Address those diseases/causes of death that had particularly high rates in the community, such as injury and violence.
  • Provide health education on such topics as AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, and tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

Salud Para la Gente (SPLG) is a nonprofit community-based organization providing comprehensive health care to farm workers and other low-income residents in and around Watsonville, California.

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:

  • Salud Para la Gente created Niños Santos, Jovenes Listos (NSJL)—Healthy Children, Intelligent Youth—to promote healthy behaviors for children ages nine to through youth leadership development, homework supervision, health education, physical and recreational activities, and communication skills development.

    Niños Santos, Jovenes Listos operated after school during the school year and in summer months four days a week for 2.5 hours each day. A total of 178 youths at risk for social and academic problems participated in 11 groups over four years.
  • Staff at Salud Para la Gente provided in-home assessments, counseling, crisis intervention, and case management services for all 178 children participating in the project. In addition, 206 parents were active participants in the agency's family education and parenting programs.