(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Center for Community Health Development (CCHD) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) School of Rural Public Health is making new strides in supporting prevention research and training to improve the Rio Grande population health status.

Julie St. John, M.P.H., M.A.

Julie St. John, M.P.H., M.A.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Prevention Research Center, the CCHD recently received approval from the Texas Department of State Health Services to provide certified continuing education credit hours for community health workers (promotores). Julie St. John, M.P.H., M.A., South Texas regional director for the CCHD, will provide the training.

“Many promotores do so much more than outreach, and through these trainings, we can equip them with everything they need to be effective in helping their neighbors become and stay healthy and safe,” St. John said. “It is a privilege to work with them in this capacity.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to formalize work we have been doing with promotores in the Rio Grande Valley for several years,” said Monica Wendel, Dr.P.H., CCHD director.

Working with local organizations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, St. John will offer classes in communication skills, interpersonal skills, service coordination, capacity-building, advocacy, teaching, organization, safe drinking water and solid waste disposal. She is currently developing additional training in topics that include secondhand smoke, heart health, mental health, qualitative data collection, assessment of dietary intake and healthy food choices.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell