From 1994 to 2001, Aspira de Puerto Rico developed a family-to-family peer mentoring model of substance abuse prevention based on the Latino concept of compadres (godparents).
Under the project, 44 carefully selected and trained "strong" families—compays—were assigned as peer counselors to 69 Head Start families in San Isidro who were substance abusers or at risk of substance abuse.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program, Free to Grow: Head Start Partnerships to Promote Substance-Free Communities.
- Compay families emerged as leaders who worked in partnership with community schools, municipal officials, substance abuse prevention and education programs, police and local recreational organizations to improve their neighborhood environments.
- Community-strengthening activities functioned through neighborhood-based groups, a community association and a leader's group.
- Resident-led efforts resulted in:
- The development of the community's first day camp
- The creation of a community library with after-school tutoring services
- Increased police surveillance
- Improved lighting and garbage collection
- The preservation of the community's only elementary school after it was damaged in a hurricane.
Evaluation Findings: Researchers from Mathematica Policy Research examined the Aspira project as part of an evaluation of the Free to Grow national program.
The researchers concluded that:
- Aspira had developed a sound and promising strategy for intervening with at-risk Head Start families.
- The compay family-to-family peer-counseling and support component was well articulated and well implemented.
Learn how to improve care transitions and prevent avoidable hospital readmissions, and pick up nursing and medical education con-ed credits.
The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize honors outstanding community partnerships which are helping people live healthier lives. The six winners w...
Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas examines the ways that the gambling industry has designed gambling machines that encourag...
Mildred Dalton Manning, the last surviving member of a group of U.S. Army and Navy nurses taken prisoner in the Philippines at the start of ...
A study finds that 96 percent of nurse practitioners and 76 percent of physicians agreed with IOM report recommendation that “nurse practiti...
"Many African American men are invisible from health care settings until their health conditions are severe," Keon Gilbert writes.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to increase awareness and understanding of the impact of ACEs and the need to develop effectiv...
Playworks improving the health and well-being of children through safe, meaningful play
The strange pull of this series is its humanity, not its horrors.
A national conversation highlighting efforts to improve care transitions, reduce avoidable hospital readmissions, and lift overall quality o...
While the need to address disparities in care is well known, few strategies for reducing disparities have been studied systematically.
The reconvened Commission to Build a Healthier America will provide new guidance in two key areas: early childhood and healthy communities.