Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

The Expanding Role for Promotores in Health Reform: NCLR Annual Conference Highlights

Patrick Yao Tang, MPH

Each year, the National Council of La Raza hosts a sprawling conference to promote positive social change for the betterment of the Hispanic community. The event brings together influential leaders, organizations, institutions, and companies to tackle the most pressing issues facing the Hispanic community, from community empowerment to immigration to education to health. This year’s theme, “Rise as One”, highlights ascension to better opportunities, respect, and awareness with respect to the improved image, position, and power of the Hispanic community. It serves as a call for unity within communities of color and a challenge to climb upwards together.

The 2013 NCLR Annual Conference was held from July 20-23 in New Orleans, LA. Over four days, attendees took part in Town Hall discussions, luncheons, and over 50 workshops on 11 tracks. On the final day of the conference, attendees lined up for hours for a chance to see First Lady Michelle Obama deliver the keynote address at the Tuesday luncheon (video).

On the third day of the conference, I had the honor of being a panelist in a workshop entitled “The Promotores(as) Model and the Affordable Care Act: Promoting Health Education while Reducing Health Care Costs.” I was joined on the panel by Juana Ballesteros from Alivio Medical Center and C. Leroy Cavazos from Migrant Health Promotion. In this workshop, we showcased Alivio Medical Center’s Mi Salud es Primero program, a model that integrates promotores into the patient-centered medical home to provide education and community outreach. We also identified funding opportunities in the Affordable Care Act for the promotore model and offered insights on emerging trends and challenges. Take a look at NCLR’s blog on the third day of the conference.

The Promotores(as) Model and the Affordable Care Act: Promoting Health Education while Reducing Health Care Costs
Download the presentation

Workshop Moderator: Manuela McDonough, and Panelists: Juana Ballesteros, C. Leroy Cavazos, and Patrick Tang


Immediately preceding the conference, NCLR’s Institute for Hispanic Health held its second annual Health Summit from July 18-19. The goal of this summit was to educate and empower attendees on major policy issues affecting the Latino community, provide a forum for attendees to share examples of successful programming and advocacy efforts, and share effective advocacy strategies using social media. Among the panelists at the health summit were Maggie Morgan from Harvard Law School and C. Leroy Cavazos from Migrant Health Promotion. On the ACA and Immigration Reform panel, Maggie Morgan presented on Options for Immigrants in Medicaid Expansion. C. Leroy Cavazos delivered two thought-provoking presentations on The Promotora Model & Affordable Care Structures and The ACA in Texas.

In addition, Diana Urlaub from Peers for Progress and Juana Ballesteros from Alivio Medical Center were invited to present their poster on Diabetes Management through Peer Support and Community Outreach from the Patient-Centered Medical Home.

Presentations and posters from the health summit may be found here.

Juana Ballesteros, Maggie Morgan, and Diana Urlaub at the poster session


Throughout the health summit and conference proceedings, the conversation around promotores seemed to be focused on a few key issues. First, the expansion of Medicaid in the Affordable Care Act is driving the need for promotores to educate their communities about enrollment as well as navigating eligible beneficiaries through the enrollment process. Many attendees were dually interested in immigration and health reform, touching on the sensitive topic of healthcare for undocumented immigrants. Workshops that presented on the application of health information technology, mobile apps, and social media to support promotores and community engagement were a crowd favorite. And finally, there was a demand for building skills to conduct effective advocacy at the local and state levels.

Thanks NCLR for all of their hard work in putting together another successful conference. We’ll see you all next year!

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