The use of community health workers (promotores de salud) to better reach the Hispanic population in the fight against diabetes is being investigated in a study being conducted in San Antonio. These health educators can be found in a wide variety of locations such as community-based organizations, clinics, churches and schools. Therefore, it is easier for those in the most need to bypass some of the barriers (language, economics, and access to health care) that might keep them from obtaining the assistance they need in a more “conventional” health setting.
A partnership between Humana and the National Council of La Raza is behind the research. According to Dr. George Smith, president of Humana Senior Products in Texas, “There is evidence that community health workers can effectively engage, educate, and activate individuals with chronic diseases in ways that the formal health system cannot.”