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OneWorld’s promotora program has proven to be effective at increasing health care access and disease prevention within minority populations in Sarpy and Dodge counties, and now, a United Way grant will allow the program to expand into Douglas County.

Promotoras are peers and community members who connect with their neighbors, families, friends and communities to promote health and prevent disease. OneWorld’s promotoras work to improve health outcomes by increasing access to and use of health care while promoting disease prevention, sexual literacy and behavior change to reduce risks. They also link individuals to OneWorld Community Health Centers as a health home and provide screenings and follow-up for heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

“Language, culture and ethnic background play key roles as determinants of health,” Luis Vasquez, OneWorld’s minority health outreach program manager, said. “The promotoras represent the language, culture and ethnicity of the [community] they serve. … Whether it is a public health initiative or a cultural one, without a doubt, promotoras can greatly influence the health outcomes of our community.”

Thanks to United Way, OneWorld’s promotoras can now follow up with at-risk individuals in Douglas County and connect them to OneWorld resources that can help them manage and improve their health.

“With this wonderful opportunity, we have finally been able to do what we could not do before — collaborate with organizations in Douglas County to screen individuals at risk, connect them to medical services when needed and train more volunteer health promoters,” Vasquez said. “We have already started seeing the benefit of this expansion by having the opportunity to serve different communities within Douglas County.”

On behalf of OneWorld and our patients, thank you, United Way!

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