October 20th - Plenary: Reaching the Hispanic Community in Times of Crisis – Lessons from Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar

In this session, we will draw from our experiences and discuss the key elements for effectively engaging Hispanic communities to access services and care for their health. Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar (For Our Health and Wellbeing) is a private-public partnership established in Montgomery County, Maryland to tackle the health disparities suffered by Latinos during the COVID-19 pandemic. A crucial element of this project has been the communication efforts specifically designed to reach underserved communities. 

Objectives:

  • Describe the importance of going beyond linguistic competence
  • Identify trust brokers in the community you are serving
  • Describe the process for designing an effective communication campaign to reach your community

Cynthia Baur, PhD

Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, University of Maryland

Dr. Cynthia Baur became the Director of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy in January 2017. Prior to coming to UMD, Dr. Baur worked for 17 years in communication leadership roles with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C. Most recently, she served as the Senior Advisor for Health Literacy in the CDC Office of the Associate Director for Communication and CDC's Senior Official for the Plain Writing Act implementation. During her federal tenure, she led multiple initiatives to define best practices and guidelines in health communication and health literacy. She was the first manager of the Healthy People health communication objectives and the editor of the U.S. National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. At CDC, she created CDC’s health literacy website, which provides tools and online training to improve health literacy and public health, and she is the co-creator of the CDC Clear Communication Index, a set of scientific criteria for creating clear public communication materials. Her approach is based in communication science and focuses on providing diverse audiences with information in ways they can understand and use.

Gianina Hasbun

Senior Program Specialist, Latino Health Initiative, Montgomery County DHHS

Gianina Hasbun serves as a Senior Program Specialist at the Latino Health Initiative – Department of Health and Human Services of Montgomery County since 2006 where she is responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating health promotion programs such as the “Vías de la Salud” Health Promoters Program and the Asthma Management Program. She also develops curricula and educational material and implements trainings for Community Health Workers. Gianina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Central American University (UCA), San Salvador and a Master’s Degree in Human Systems Intervention from Concordia University, Montreal. She has over 25 years of experience working in Community Health Programs, including the mental health field, both in her native country, El Salvador and the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. In El Salvador, Gianina worked in post-war communities designing and implementing psycho-social interventions for children, youth and families, utilizing Popular Education methodologies. She co-authored the book: Weaving our Identity: Psycho-social Intervention with Families of Disappeared Children due to the War. Currently, her work focuses on public health, engaging communities to improve their health and wellbeing, facilitating access to culturally and linguistically competent health services and advocating for policies that will address health disparities.

Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera, MD, PhD

Executive Director, Care for Your Health, Inc

Dr. Izquierdo completed her medical training and geriatric specialty in Spain and subsequently completed her fellowship training in Geriatric Medicine at the University Of Maryland and a residency in Internal Medicine Franklin Square Hospital Center. She then went to serve as the Medical Director for Spanish Catholic Center (a District based Community Health Center). She became a member of the Montgomery County Latino Health Steering Committee in 2005 where she has worked to enhance the health of Latinos with a special emphasis on the elders of the community. During her work she has become acquainted with the needs of work in resource restrained communities with cultural nuances of practices in multicultural environments. In 2008 she founded Care for Your Health, to improve the care of elders in the community. Care for Your Health has designed multiple programs, including an expanding home visiting program, to reach the underserved in the community and support them as they continue to live in their homes and communities. The Montgomery county site, were Dr. Izquierdo has her clinical practice serves mostly immigrants (75% Latino).

Nora Morales, MA

Program Director, Identity, Inc.

Nora Morales is Program Director at Identity, Inc. and is supervising the Case Management portion of Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar Program with the Latino Health Initiative. In addition to this project, Nora oversees Identity's Out-of-School Time Programs, Recreation, Case Management, and Parent and Community Engagement. Nora's passion for providing opportunities and support to marginalized groups has led to a 26 year career as an educator, community organizer, and nonprofit leader.

Diana Gonzalez (Moderator)

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October 20th - Plenary: Reaching the Hispanic Community in Times of Crisis – Lessons from Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar
Recorded 10/20/2020
Recorded 10/20/2020 Introduction - Cynthia Baur, PhD UMD Horowitz Center for Health Literacy Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera MD PhD Care for Your Health, Inc Gianina Hasbun Latino Health Initiative, Montgomery County DHHS Nora Morales Identity, Inc Description: In this session, we will draw from our experiences and discuss the key elements for effectively engaging Hispanic communities to access services and care for their health. Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar (For Our Health and Wellbeing) is a private-public partnership established in Montgomery County, Maryland to tackle the health disparities suffered by Latinos during the COVID-19 pandemic. A crucial element of this project has been the communication efforts specifically designed to reach underserved communities.
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