With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the disparities and problems the Latino communities face were highlighted and, in many cases, exacerbated. Unemployment challenges, lack of access to testing and vaccines, disproportionate number of cases and deaths; the list goes on. However, one of the biggest challenges was the lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate information about preventing COVID-19. There was limited translated information available in Spanish and a whole lot more misinformation posted online. The national CDC-Funded “PODER en SALUD” Capacity Building COVID-19 Project for Latinos/Latinx Communities nationwide addressed that need.
The PODER en SALUD (Power in Health) Project is facilitated by PROCEED, Inc., NCTSTA, one of three organizations nationally, to be commissioned aims to increase the capacity of Latino/Latinx communities at high risk for COVID-19, to effectively respond to the pandemic through the engagement of trusted community-based organizations, tailored communications, and the mobilization of Promotores, trained to deliver COVID-19 vaccination and prevention messages, as well as other community mitigation strategies. More information about the project and all materials produced nationwide can be found by visiting www.poderensalud.org.**
“El Centro was selected as one of the national Core Partners in the project during Year I and was selected again in Year II,” said Justin Gust, Director of Community Health at El Centro. “Together with project Affiliates Health Partnership Clinic, El Centro of Topeka, and Genesis Family Health, we will soon launch and disseminate tailored messages and materials to provide Latino communities across Kansas with the information they need to continue to remain protected against COVID-19.”
This year’s materials include a series of videos to address myths around the COVID-19 vaccines, a video highlighting mental health during a pandemic, a campaign to work with local Latino owned business to promote vaccination, and much more. Promotoras de Salud (Health Promotors) at El Centro and Genesis Family Health along with staff at El Centro of Topeka and Health Partnership Clinic have worked tirelessly throughout the project to connect with the community, providing answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines and testing and motivating everyone to stay up to date on their vaccines. Messages and materials from Year I, and soon Year II, can be found by visiting https://www.elcentroinc.com/community-health/covid-19/.
**Building Hispanic/Latino Community Capacity to Respond to COVID-19 is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under CDC/HHS as part of a financial assistance award totaling $2,300,000 with 100% funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.