Bridging cultural and language divides with personal care and technology

June 01, 2019

With the help of Providence Health & Services in Oregon, Catholic parishes in Washington, Multnomah and Yamhill counties are successfully combining a promotores model of care with telehealth technology to improve health for local Latino people.

ORCBNews5Promotores de Salud provides free, bilingual health screenings and consultations in parishes. Staffed by culturally competent, trained volunteers - the clinics are an important source of care for uninsured Spanish-speaking people. The program is a collaboration between the promotores, the parishes and Providence, which provides the staff, resources and technology to operate the clinics.

In the past four years, promotores have screened 2,970 patients for blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. Nurse practitioners have given 626 telehealth consults, written 202 prescriptions and referred 208 patients to financial resources.

ORCBNews6Thanks to the addition of telehealth technology, patients can now have questions or screening results relayed through a video camera directly to a nurse practitioner at a hospital or clinic. As the nurse practitioners talk with patients and recommend a course of action, the promotores translate the information into Spanish. The ability for the patient to see the nurse practitioner as they talk establishes an important patient/nurse connection.

“It is a very effective program, and we thank all the volunteers very much. This program is very, very good for all of us Hispanics,” said a client at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish in Beaverton, Oregon.

Providence provided the staff, tools and technology through our community benefit program. Future plans call for expanding the program in Yamhill County and launching it in other counties.