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Health Care Advocates Meet at UC Riverside

UCR Professor Leads “Promotoras” Network to Aid Health Care Among Latinos

(September 17, 2002)

Community Health Workers from around the state will gather at UC Riverside Wednesday, Sept. 18, to talk about improving health care offered to Latinos.

The “Community Health Worker/Promotora Statewide Convening: Hacia Una Vida Digna y Sana (creating a life of dignity and health)” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the UC Riverside Commons Cafeteria. The conference is an annual convening of the Community Health Worker Promotoras Network sponsored by the Ernesto Galarza Applied Research Center. The program will be conducted in Spanish.

These health advocates work as part of hospitals and social service agencies across the state. They typically meet with people who need health care services but have been unable to get it, because of a language barrier, a lack of money or insurance, or other reasons.

“This conference is part of our strategy to include communities in the discussion.and resolution of common issues,” said Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez, a professor of anthropology at UC Riverside and the lead investigator on a project that includes placing promotoras, or health advocates, in various communities in California. “We are seeking ways to develop and enhance what we are doing,” he said. “We also want to know what kind of impact our promotoras have had on the populations they serve.”

Break-out sessions will allow participants to brainstorm ideas for shared solutions to problems. Recommendations for action will be read to the entire group at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Cost is $20 per person and meals will be provided to participants.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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