2016 Adelante Promotores Conference“Adelante Promotores…La Lucha Sigue”
Since the San Diego County Promotores Coalition (SDCPC) started organizing the Adelante Promotores conferences in 2015, its planning, development, and execution has been a wonderful and motivating experience. Different programs and organizations that work with Promotores and Community Health Workers (CHW), came together to assist in the planning of this event that aims to provide education and training for promotores in San Diego County.
The main conference theme was selected based on the feedback provided by conference participants in 2015. The title “¡Adelante Promotores…La Lucha Sigue!” aimed to reflect upon the challenges in the work of Promotores and continue to motivate them in the struggle to achieve health and wellness in our San Diego communities. The conference’s theme was also inspired by the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
Over 200 Promotores attended the conference. Consul Rafael Eugenio Laveaga Rendon (representing Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, Marcela Celorio) kicked off the event with welcoming and inspirational words. Later, the audience was captivated by the conference’s keynote speaker, Dr. America Bracho, President and CEO of Latino Health Access, with her speech “Building Healthy Communities: The Struggle Continues”.
Participants selected two of 18 health topic conversation tables to learn about their topic of choice while engaging in lively discussion. These topics included: “Love your heart” (hypertension, ‘the silent killer’), “Minds Matter” (false beliefs surrounding mental illness), “Domestic vs. Pandemic Violence” (its effects on society and public health), and others. The conversation tables were facilitated by the American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health’s Environmental Investigations Branch and Office of Binational Border Health, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agencies’ Aging & Independence Services, STD and TB Control Programs, Chula Vista Community Collaborative, Mental Health America, Project Concern International, SAY San Diego, and San Ysidro Health Center.
Furthermore, 10 workshops designed to enhance the personal and professional development of Promotores were offered. Topics included techniques for effective communication; self-care plans; positive attitudes; how to identify and overcome obstacles to achieve success; effective communication; leadership; motivational interviewing; connecting with others from the heart; and evaluation and research skills. A special thank you to the following Promotores, leaders and organizations that facilitated workshops: Vivian Nieto (Amigas Punto Com), Joe Buselt (Bullet Proof Heart), Alcira Dominguez (California Department of Public Health’s Environmental Investigations Branch), Daniel Ballon (IMPACT San Diego), Jennifer Bustamante (Motivational Speaker), Laura Andrews (Mental Health America), Antolin Rodriguez (Promotor de Salud), Blanca Aguayo (Southern Caregiver Resource Center), Araceli Lopez-Arenas (UC San Diego), and Brendaly Rodriguez (University of Miami/Florida CHW Coalition, Inc.).
Besides looking to enhance the knowledge and skills of Promotores, another purpose of the Adelante Promotores Conference was to celebrate the work that they do in our San Diego communities. This year, “The Voice”, a fun contest, was held for Promotores to express their work through different art forms, such as singing, dancing, poetry, and recitation, and serve to inspire others to succeed in their work as community members.
At the end of the conference, the award “Promotor of the Year” was given to Patricia Lomeli, and the “Promotor of Excellence” award to Leticia Padilla. The award recipients were selected from a large group of candidates, based on nominations submitted by community members, Promotores, and organization leaders to recognize Promotores for their contribution to their community.
Many thanks to all members of the San Diego County Promotores Coalition for all their effort and insights in organizing this event. Our gratitude also goes to everyone who volunteered in the planning, venue decoration, conference registration, and much more. Thank you to our sponsors: Be There San Diego/County of San Diego Health and Human Services, California Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Investigations Branch, and UC San Diego. Most of all thank you to all the promotores and Community Health Workers for their commitment to and work in San Diego communities. Their work is what drives the San Diego County Promotores Coalition to “continue in the fight”!