Promotores de Salud Alliance Named 2006 Health Care Heroes Finalist

The Promotores de Salud Alliance of Dallas-Fort Worth was among the 22 Health Care Heroes Awards finalists recently announced by the Dallas Business Journal.

UNT Health Science Center began using Promotores de Salud in 2001. Mary Luna Hollen, PhD, RD,LD, project director for the Promotores de Salud, has served as the groupâ??s coordinator since its inception at the health science center.

â??Reaching ethnic population groups on issues of health is an art,â? Dr. Hollen said. â??Promotores de Salud, particularly in concert, have the natural ability to connect with people and create a bond. That ability or energy is powerful enough to transform people, families and entire communities.â?

The Promotores de Salud Alliance of Dallas-Fort Worth is a group of lay health workers who have undergone training to conduct ongoing outreach activities in the community, such as health fairs, school programs, African American and Hispanic expositions, church events, city-wide forums, university focus groups, university class presentations, grocery tours, food demonstrations, non-profit health walks, health network member participation, and interviews with different media. The goal of the Promotores Alliance is to provide culturally sensitive health training that allows people in the community to learn about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Recently, the Promotores de Salud Alliance of Dallas-Fort Worth have moved to create their own organization while maintaining their ties to the health science center and other network partner organizations.

â??This is a sign of sustainability, building capacity and the makings of health communities,â? Dr. Hollen said. â??We must continue supporting the Promotores de Salud Alliance and their efforts in our quest to create healthy communities.â?

Categories for this yearâ??s Dallas Business Journal Healthcare Heroes contest include employer, innovator, manager, volunteer, physician; academic/research, nursing, community outreach programs, non-physician employee and best emergency relief effort (team or individual), an additional category this year. The Promotores de Salud Alliance was nominated in the community outreach program category.

The Promotores de Salud Alliance is the only entry from the health science center to be named as a finalist for this yearâ??s Dallas Business Journal Health Care Heroes Awards. Winners will be announced in a special Health Care Heroes publication of the Dallas Business Journal Sept. 8.

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Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail kacolley@hsc.unt.edu.

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