Albuquerque Proyecto HEAL Project Expands Health Education to Youth and Families

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.