Below is a story of impact from an individual that took part in a program that will be funded through this year’s Community Impact Project. Your community needs your vote to bring programs like The Promotores Project to your hometown. Vote today at vote.livestrong.org.
I used to work in the Patient Navigation Research Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; it was my first job experience after finishing my Certification as a Community Health Worker. During that period of time, I learned about the different needs that cancer patients encounter, from the point when they hear the news of their diagnosis and throughout their journey to recovery. Being able to empower patients, guide them and connect them with information and resources to help themselves was very rewarding for me. The Promotores Training Program with LIVESTRONG was a great opportunity to continue doing what I was already working on. I loved the fact that I was going to be working with the Hispanic/Latino community because I know firsthand about the barriers some of our people encounter while trying to get the services they need. Knowing that I was going to have the support of the LIVESTRONG Foundation providing the Promotores training and resources for cancer survivors was also an incentive to be part of this program.
One accomplishment as a Promotora that makes me very happy is to be able to help survivors feel empowered to fight cancer with a positive attitude and hearing from them how they are now using their personal stories to educate their families and friends about cancer by encouraging them to get their cancer screening exams and to adopt healthier lifestyles. Seeing this change in people means a lot to me!
I have also being able to create relationships and collaborations with other local organizations that are also working in cancer prevention or providing supporting services to cancer survivors.
The Promotores Program is one of the most effective ways to help the Hispanic/Latino community. I believe people like to have a personal connection with the person providing the information in order for them to open up and share their problems, needs and concerns. Having the Promotora present the information to the cancer survivor in person makes it more likely for the cancer survivor to listen, trust, and take action by following up with LIVESTRONG.
Communities would benefit from having trained and passionate Promotores as we help increase their knowledge and awareness about cancer survivorship. Most Promotores are usually from the same communities they serve, which means that they understand the needs of people because they are familiar with the living conditions, barriers, resources or lack thereof in that community. People from the community can relate to Promotores and have the confidence that someone like us is advocating for them. The Promotores Training Program would help increase the Promotores? knowledge. Having a Promotores Training program in communities around the country will allow Promotores to network and share information about resources to better serve their communities. Promotores would help increase the awareness about the LIVESTRONG Foundation in communities that really need the patient navigator services.