July 1999

Grant Results

National Program

Program to Address Sociocultural Barriers to Health Care in Hispanic Communities

SUMMARY

Starting in September 1992, Youth Development, Inc. (YDI) implemented Proyecto HEAL by:

  • Conducting youth health education and leadership classes in collaboration with local schools.
  • Providing Strengthening Families training to parents.
  • Conducting community health education through activities such as health fairs.

YDI is a community-based organization founded in 1971 under the sponsorship of the Bernalillo County Commission to help reduce juvenile delinquency. It provides social, educational, and psychological services for youth in Albuquerque and in Bernalillo County.

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

Proyecto HEAL activities also aimed to develop leadership and team-building skills, self-esteem, and cultural identification. Enrolled youth participated in and gave presentations at local and state health conferences; PTA and other school meetings; and health fairs. Ninety-five youths participated over four years.

Key Results

  • YDI sponsored health fairs starting in July 1996. Some 300 local residents attended its first, at Los Padillos Community Center. Fifteen agencies participated.
  • It sponsored two additional health fairs at Los Padillos in June 1997. Attendance was 400 to 600 people, and more than 30 agencies participated.
  • YDI also provided education and training to Head Start staff in nutrition and preparing healthy meals.

Funding
RWJF supported the project with a grant of $201,000 from September 1992 to November 1997.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
 Back to the Table of Contents


THE PROBLEM

In 1993, New Mexico was the nation's 44th state in per capita income, with average income 25 percent below the national average. It had a higher proportion of Hispanics — 40 percent — than any other state.

The target area of Bernalillo County accounted for nearly one-third of New Mexico's total population, with approximately half a million residents, 37.1 percent of whom were Hispanic. Nearly one-fifth of these Hispanic residents had incomes below the poverty line. The Center for Social Policy ranked New Mexico 46th out of 50 states in the health and well-being of its children.

Youth Development, Inc. (YDI), a community-based organization, was founded in 1971 under the sponsorship of the Bernalillo County Commission to help reduce juvenile delinquency. It provides social, educational, and psychological services for youth in Albuquerque and in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, including such services as counseling, youth clubs, job placement, dropout prevention, temporary shelter for youth in crisis, and long-term treatment for emotionally disturbed youth.

 Back to the Table of Contents


THE PROJECT

After some initial problems with schools that misunderstood the purpose of the program (one school initially referred disruptive children to the Proyecto HEAL program), YDI recruited 95 youth participants, aged 9 to 12, over four years.

YDI provided Proyecto HEAL health education and leadership activities in weekly sessions at sponsoring schools and through field trips. The curricula for youth included "Healthy Food Choices," "Anatomy and How the Body Works," "Hygiene," "Inhalant Abuse," "Good/Bad Touch," "Gang Prevention," "Gun Safety," "HIV/AIDS," and "First Aid/CPR."

To develop their leadership and team-building skills, self-esteem and cultural identification, enrolled youth participated in and gave presentations at local and state health conferences, PTA and other school meetings, and health fairs. Fifteen youth participants from year one were enlisted as mentors for youths in subsequent years, assisting YDI staff in several activities.

YDI also developed a summer Proyecto HEAL children's program offering health education and recreational activities at a youth center. The summer program ran once a week for eight weeks. Program attendance ranged from 50 to 80 children per day.

Activities directed at parents and other family members included workshops on mammograms and cervical exams, nutrition, and parent skills. YDI also adapted Strengthening Families to help families prevent or reduce the serious health and social risks associated with adolescent sexual activity and pregnancy.

YDI considered its most significant Proyecto HEAL activity to be the sponsorship of health fairs, beginning in July 1996. YDI sponsored its first health fair with the Los Padillos Community Center; 15 other agencies participated, and 300 community members attended.

The purpose of the fair was to provide information about health and how to access care. Persons attending could receive diabetes screenings, blood pressure checks, and health and safety information. YDI identified eight people who were eligible for Medicaid and enrolled them in the program. YDI sponsored two additional health fairs with Los Padillos in June 1997; 400 to 600 people attended and 30 agencies participated in these events.

Through Proyecto HEAL, YDI provided education and training to Head Start staff in nutrition and preparing healthy meals, and to local school staff in nutrition and health issues. It also developed partnerships or participated in interagency coalitions for health education, planning, or service provision with 30 other agencies including the American Red Cross, Bernalillo Safe Kids Coalition, University of New Mexico Student Health Center, New Mexico State Police, Ditch and Water Safety Task Force, Planned Parenthood of Albuquerque, and the Fathering Center.

Planned Parenthood donated time to present information to community members on puberty and on "Good Touch/Bad Touch." Bernalillo Safe Kids donated smoke detectors and provided lectures on gun safety; the Albuquerque Fire Department trained families (in English and Spanish) on fire safety and the use of smoke detectors; and the University of New Mexico Student Health Center hosted a tour of the facility to acquaint youth with how hospitals work. YDI also received a city-owned building to develop as a youth center.

Communications

YDI, through Proyecto HEAL, periodically issued the Proyecto HEAL Newsletter to inform families, the schools, and other community agencies about Proyecto HEAL activities. The HEAL staff made radio and TV presentations and developed public service announcements (PSAs).

 Back to the Table of Contents


AFTER THE GRANT

Historically, YDI's primary health activity was an outreach HIV/AIDS program. YDI has maintained its involvement with health issues. It now has eight health programs, sponsors periodic health fairs, and collaborates with 30 other agencies on health-related issues. It has continued Strengthening Families and About Adolescence training as part of agency services, and also incorporates parent components into Head Start programming. Many of the services are based out of a youth center developed under HEAL in a building donated by the City of Albuquerque.

 Back to the Table of Contents


GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Proyecto HEAL: Youth Development, Inc. (YDI)

Grantee

Youth Development, Inc. (Albuquerque,  NM)

  • Amount: $ 201,000
    Dates: September 1992 to November 1997


Contact

Executive Director: Chris Baca
(505) 843-8675

 Back to the Table of Contents


Site address:
Youth Development, Inc.
Wool Warehouse Location
516 First Street, NW
Albuquerque, NM 87105

Report prepared by: Mike Jackson
Report prepared by: Janet Heroux
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Reviewed by: Marian Bass
Program Officer: Marguerite Johnson-Rountree
Program Officer: Eric (Tito) Coleman
Program Officer: Terri G. Appel

Most Requested