La Clínica de la Raza
La Clínica de la Raza's Community Health Education Section (CHE) has been providing community health education primarily to Latinos in the Oakland area for close to two decades. Current and recent community health education activities include the following:
A. Adult Community Health Education Projects
Casa en CasaThe Casa en Casa ("Home in the Home") program is a community-based health education program that takes place in the homes of community members where invited friends and relatives participate. Co-organized and co-facilitated by "Promotores de la Salud" (indigenous health promoters), participants critically discuss underlying causes of health problems in their lives and search for ways to resolve these issues, to improve their environments, ensure equity in resources, and improve the quality of life for their community. CHE's philosophy of community empowerment has borne fruit in many significant ways. It is not uncommon for a CHE-sponsored group to initiate its own community actions to address health problems. For example, one Casa en Casa group led to an exploration of larger issues in the community. Group members made community maps which were then used to analyze problem areas and target specific issues. The group identified several problem areas including a liquor store that sold cheap liquor and served as a hang out place for alcoholics, drug addicts and other individuals, making the area unsafe for families and children. Other issues included a drug dealer working from a local house, lack of child care, jobs, housing, and health care, dirty streets, few safe recreational areas for children and lack of positive role models in the community. The health educator's role is only as facilitator; all decisions are made by group members. The group is also responsible for carrying out its own plans. Escuela Para PromotoresSince 1991, CHE has run a training program for health promoters. Community members go through a series of trainings on leadership, organizational, and communication skills necessary to conduct health education presentations and facilitate community health activities. Once trained, promoters take on leadership roles in the community to educate other community members and to undertake specific health promotion activities involving other residents. One of the most successful activities that has come out of the Escuela is a food cooperative. Promoters and other community members, with the assistance of La Clínica Health Educators, initiated a food cooperative in response to the lack of affordable, high quality foods in the neighborhood. Access to nutritious foods was seen as essential to enabling community members to have healthful diets that would decrease their risk of hypertension and other chronic illnesses. In 1997, La Clínica received funding from the Department to implement Proyecto Cambio, a project which seeks to prevent intimate partner violence among Latinos through the use of cultural appropriate interventions. The project has three components, a school-based curricula, an adult group series, and an adolescent Rites of Passage progam, and has been evaluated for impact. Currently funded by the California Department of Maternal and Child Health, this program continues presently. A highly successful men’s group has spun out of this project, which meets weekly to discuss topics such as healthy relationships and violence prevention, and to participate in the first male specific Escuela Para Promotores.
B. Youth Community Education Programs
Casa en las Escuelas: Funded by the Office of Family Planning, Information and Education (I&E) grant, CHE staff provide a teen pregnancy prevention program in the Oakland area schools. During a typical school year a team of health educators may see about 1200-1500 students throughout 8 schools. The students range in age from 11 to 19 years old. Of the students seen, approximately 50% are Latinos, 30% African American, and other students seen are Asian and White. This program employs a curriculum that has been tailored to the youth that we serve, incorporating music, videos and elements from pop culture to which the youth relate. Topics include: self esteem; values clarification; peer pressure; communication; mental health; gang, racial, and domestic violence; puberty; relationships; family life education; HIV/AIDS and STI’s; drug and alcohol abuse; social problems; and other health topics. Using Paulo Freire teaching techniques, the health educator actively involves students in each lesson through hands-on experiential learning activities. Examples include the "Force of Choice" activity, in which students make value-laden choices in front of other students and then discuss the impact of their own value-system and peer pressure on their decisions. This year we are beginning a peer education component at a local middle school where twenty 8th grade students will be trained to provide peer outreach to 6th graders at Calvin Simmons Middle School. The School-based clinics are also running peer education programs at Oakland Tech and Roosevelt schools Youth Brigade: A primary goal of our health education program is to foster a link between the clinic, school and home health education. For example, out of our Casa en Casa program emerged a similar program for youth, the Latino Youth Brigade. Currently funded through the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY), about a thirty adolescents take part in activities to promote positive self-esteem, community involvement, and leadership. The group receives training in specific topics like family life education and nutrition. Following their training, they decide on and implement a community action to promote health messages among their peers. They also receive tutoring once a week and are very active in the community, participating in local events and health fairs. The summer months provide daytime hours necessary for educational trips and exchanges with other youth groups. SAMHSA: We have received a one year planning grant from SAHMSA’s CSAP (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention) program to assess community needs around integrative HIV and substance abuse prevention for at-risk, minority youth. We are collaborating with the Oakland Unified School District to fulfill their HIV education mandate and are identifying and involving community stakeholders in the assessment process.
C. AIDS Education
La Clínica is a major provider of HIV education services to minority populations throughout Oakland. In fact, La Clínica is the only source of HIV education serving Latinos in our immediate service area. La Clínica has gained vast experience both in individual HIV prevention education and in community-based health education. La Clínica's Community Health Educators have delivered AIDS/HIV education group presentations at schools, homes, halfway houses, substance abuse programs, our clinic and other sites for several years. We have provide confidential and anonymous HIV testing at nearly all clinic sites. La Clínica began to respond to the threat of AIDS in the Latino community by contracting with the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency in 1987 to provide AIDS health education to the Latino community in East Oakland. In 1988, a three-year grant was awarded to La Clínica by the DHHS Office of Minority Health to educate Latino professionals and para-professionals in Alameda County about HIV issues. In 1990, La Clínica received funding from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide HIV prevention education and street outreach to high-risk populations living in the Fruitvale and San Antonio neighborhoods of East Oakland. In 1992, La Clínica initiated a research study funded by the Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) AIDS Task Force to determine effective methods of HIV prevention education and outreach. We have had continuously had contracts to provide HIV prevention education In 2000, La Clínica received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide HIV prevention education through street outreach targeting the intravenous drug using and sex industry worker populations in Oakland. This project continues presently, as the TRUCHA program (Together Reaching Users Combatting HIV and AIDS). In 2002, we received funding from Alameda County Office of AIDS to provide HIV prevention education through street outreach and group to Latino men who have sex with men. For the first time, through this contract, we are piloting internet-based HIV education outreach and have also begun a special syphilis screening project, focusing on Latino MSMs. Our staff hold a mens’ group, the Grupo de Hombre a Hombre, several times a month, to provide social support and education networks to Latino MSM. This group plans and participates in events throughout the year, such as special educational workshops and East Bay Pride. La Clinica is part of the Family Care Network, a collection of agencies that provides support and treatment to HIV positive individuals. They have provided funding for us to provide “care management” to Latinas living with HIV through our ALMAS program (Alianza Latina en Marcha contrA el SIDA or Latina Alliance Marching Against AIDS). The agency is a founding member and active participant in SalvaSIDA, a local network of Latino serving agencies and community members devoted to increasing awareness of HIV and AIDS in Latinos in Alameda County. In 1999, SalvaSIDA released a paper documenting the AIDS epidemic among Latinos in the County, including statistics, risk factors, and recommendations for future work.
D. Special Events and ActivitiesThe health education department plans a large annual community health fair, called the St. Elizabeth Health Fair (Feria de salud de Santa Isabel). We work with staff across the agency and around 100 community volunteers to provide a variety of health services including education and screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, vision, podiatry, asthma, nutrition, dental, and bone density, plus HIV testing and counseling, childhood immunizations, well- child exams and health insurance enrollment assistance. In 2003, over 1180 community members attended the event, and we were joined by 50 community agencies who provided health information and referral services. We also have food, entertainment and children’s activities. For the first time in 2004, our school-based clinics will also be conducting health fairs to reach the youth population.(For more information on our community fair, call (510) 535-4130.) We have participated in the Community Voices project for several years, collaborating with Asian Health Services to raise public and political awareness about immigrant health issues and access to care. Our staff also plan special activities to coincide with annual events, such as the Semana Binacional de Salud (Binational Health Week), the National Latino HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, World AIDS Day, and Women’s Health month. CHE has created a health education library. Containing various media including publications, videos, pamphlets and curricula, the library is accessible to La Clínica staff, patients, as well as staff of other community based organizations. The educational materials cover over 100 topics ranging from AIDS to women's health. Also contained in the CHE library are educational resources developed by CHE staff in Spanish that are culturally appropriate for the community we serve. These materials include curricula, activity sheets, brochures, posters, and videos.
Watch and Listen
New Research & Recommendations
This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.