HEART (Heath Education Assessment Research Team) Phase 2 is a community-based participatory research continuation project whose overall goal is to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Hispanics in El Paso, Texas using the community health workers/promotores de salud (CHW/PS) model. In HEART Phase 1 we: 1) developed a Community Health Advisory Committee (CHAC) to lead the participatory research process and guide additional means to obtain community input;2) performed a community needs assessment to direct the research process;and 3) conducted a four-month CHW7PS pilot intervention (group classes and follow-up) to identify an optimal CHW/PS outreach approach. In addition to the lifestyle changes promoted in our pilot study, the HEART Phase 2 will add a fitness component and include a focus on the environment that contributes to CVD risk. Two new community partners have been added to emphasize our fitness and environmental approach: the YWCA facility in the Lower Valley and after-school programs available at both the YWCA and through the City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department. We plan to foster the sustained integration of the CHW/PS model in these new community based organizations (CBOs) and public sector settings through increased organizational experience and knowledge regarding culturally-tailored lifestyle and environmental interventions. Most importantly, we will conduct an intervention in the Lower Valley of Et Paso that will build on our pilot study. Our culturally sensitive programming will be known as Mi Corazon, Mi Comunidad (My Heart, My Community). The goals of the intervention will be to 1) increase awareness and utilization of programs by Hispanic families living in the target community;2) increase health behaviors including intentions and self-efficacy, and 3) decrease CVD risk factors among Hispanic families. Through our combined approach and with the continuous input from the CHAC, we will impact change agents, stakeholders, organizations, individuals and families. Lastly, we will define and promote a policy agenda that targets integration of CHW/PS in CBOs and public sector programs in conjunction with a dissemination plan to share our findings with a broader audience, thereby improving lifestyle and environmental factors that impact CVD risk factors for Hispanics in El Paso, Texas.
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