Graduate studies the essential role of promotoras in improving health for Hispanic, Latino populations

March 13, 2013
Cassandra Johnson, M.S.P.H.

Cassandra Johnson, M.S.P.H.

The essential role of promotoras in improving health for Hispanic and Latino populations is the focus of a recent study by a former graduate student of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health.

Promotoras as Research Partners to Engage Health Disparity Communities” by Cassandra Johnson, M.S.P.H., is online in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Johnson and her co-authors describe characteristics of promotora-researchers, which include serving as linguistic bridges; sharing perspectives, life experiences or values of the participant populations; and providing community residents with a cultural broker and advocate to give voice in interactions with university researchers. They also describe research and outreach experiences of working with promotoras in the Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, founded by Joseph R. Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H., RD, at the TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health, as well as recruiting and training promotoras and having them serve as research collaborators.

Co-authors from the TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health include Dr. Sharkey; Wesley Dean, Ph.D.; Julie St. John, M.P.H.; and Maria Castillo. Johnson is currently a doctoral student at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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