UCLA School of Public Health Field Studies Program

Community Health Sciences

Field Placement: Los Angeles Department of Health Services - Binational Border Health / Health Promotion Division
Los Angeles, CA
Maria T. Pacho, M.P.H.
Student Name: Christina Reyes
Year: 2005

My field studies experience was spent conducting an evaluation of the Road to Health Project, one program of the Binational Border Health Program of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. The Binational Border Health Program is directed by Sally Castaneda, and is supervised by of Dr. Roberto Calderon, head of the Binational Border/Health Promotion Division at LACDHS. The Binational Border health program has two ongoing projects. The first is the SafeMeds Project, where community health educators conduct presentations on how to use medications safely and avoid self-medicating prescription drugs and injection vitamins (common in Mexico and Central America). The presentations are aimed at parents of elementary and middle-school children and are conducted at PTA and other meetings where the parents are specifically invited to attend and learn of the Project.

The second project is Road to Health, where community health educators make short (5-10 minute) presentations on health issues and resources everyday at ten Latin American consulates in Los Angeles. The concept was developed by Dr. Calderon as a way of reaching large numbers of recent immigrant Latinos who often visit their consulates conduct immigration and visa business, and spend much time waiting for their appointments – time that can made useful by informing the consulate clients of important preventative health measures and health services in Los Angeles County. The Road to Health Project also offers information and resources at community health fairs and farmers markets throughout the year. The project began in 2002

At the request of Dr. Calderon, who wanted to see the impact the Road to Health Project was having on the target population and within the consulate personnel, I conducted a process and outcome evaluation of the Road to Health Project, as well as an evaluation of the formative process of Road to Health and its early implementation. I did this by holding focus groups with past and current health educators and key informant interviews with the director and division head of the Binational Border Health Program, two current general counsels at the Nicaraguan and Peruvian consulates, and one key staff member at the Mexican Consulate. Additionally, I conducted site observations at three consulates to evaluate the presentations by the health educators and conducted an analysis of the data collected by the project with regard to number of people reached, and changes in health knowledge in the project participants.

This work was conducted during summer 2005 at the Binational Border Health Program office in Koreatown, as well as at the consulates which are located in Koreatown and downtown Los Angeles. I compiled the results into a report in the Fall of 2005, and presented it to Dr. Calderon, along with recommendations on improvements for the Road to Health Project


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