Project Concern International is helping women in City Heights live better with two programs designed to improve health and education.
The California Border Healthy Start (CBHS+) project supports low-income families with children under age 2, starting during a mother’s pregnancy. A patient navigator provides monthly home visits, referrals for needed services, one-on-one and group-based parenting education, and personal development support. Services are provided from pregnancy until the child is 2 years old. Fathers and male partners are also engaged through group activities to learn how to improve their own health and lead resilient families.
The CBHS+ project is part of a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve birth outcomes among minority families.
The Alcance Project targets Latinas of reproductive age (15-44) to promote prevention of chronic diseases and build self-sufficiency. The project is divided into two categories: life skills and leadership. The Life Skills training provides a nine-week course covering computer and financial literacy; oral communication, resilience and empowerment; GED preparation; and prevention of chronic diseases, including heart health, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Data shows a strong correlation between poverty and chronic disease. As a result, the program places an emphasis on building employment skills in addition to focusing on a proper diet.
The Alcance Project worked with San Diego City College to create a certificate program to train community health workers and is offering a leadership academy to prepare potential candidates. The leadership academy focuses on oral communication, presentation, public education, policy engagement and participation, and chronic disease prevention.
“I have witnessed the devastation that results from chronic diseases,” said Connie Lafuente, Alcance Project Manager. “I have seen people suffering with complications from Type 2 diabetes lose their eyesight and limbs as a result of a lack of education and prevention measures. Good information helps people make small changes in their lives to make a big difference.”
Residents who are interested in participating in any of these programs are asked to fill out an intake survey to help with placement in the appropriate program. Classes are held in the City Heights Center at 4305 University Ave., Suite 330. To get started, call Sandra Martinez at (619) 791-2610, ext. 304.
PCI was founded in San Diego 54 years ago to provide health services, employment opportunities and support to those most in need.