Community Health Promoters Reach Medically Underserved

Mobilizing trained community health promoters in a medically underserved community

From late 1997 to the end of 2000, the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation provided internships for bilingual residents of a low-income neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles who had been trained as professional community health promoters. Esperanza developed the health-promoter training program to increase access to health and health care information, and to increase employment opportunities for neighborhood residents.

Under the first grant (ID# 029793), Esperanza, in partnership with three local organizations, developed advanced internships for 19 trainees who had completed five months of training in health issues in their community, health advocacy and preventive measures.

Under the renewal grant (ID# 037474), Esperanza collaborated with four local organizations to develop internships for an additional 22 community health promoters who had completed training. The 41 interns supported under the grants worked in roles related to early childhood immunization, lead poisoning case management and community education and outreach in primary health care.

Key Results

  • Esperanza reported that 16 of the 19 interns from the first group were employed in health or social services after the internship.

  • Fifteen of the 22 interns from the second group gained employment in health care and six went on to additional schooling or to jobs outside the health field.

  • Esperanza estimates that the interns supported under these grants reached some 20,000 community members through their health education activities.