It’s been a fruitful 2017 for Esperança’s Phoenix Program Director Maria Valenzuela and her team. Recently, Maria spoke at the Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Dublin, Ireland. Organized by the World Health Organization, the forum focused on resources for healthworkers (doctors, social workers and community health educators). Esperança utilizes the latter to provide culturally-relevant education and resources uniquely relevant to local communities.
Maria was also recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as a “Healthcare Hero,” has spoken in front of the United States Congress on the importance of healthworkers, and has continued to directly transform thousands of lives. Additionally, the Phoenix Program has partnered with Maricopa County Department of Public Health to launch the Parent Ambassador Program to teach parents in title 1 schools how to advocate for the health and wellbeing of their children in school.
Topping off a year of successful accomplishments, a grant from Aetna was instrumental in the successful completion of a follow-up program to Salud con Sabor Latino (Health with a Latin Flavor), which Maria created as a peer-reviewed and evidence-based obesity-prevention curriculum with special attention given to the cultural traditions and strengths of the local Hispanic population.
At the forum in Ireland, Maria spoke about the challenges she faced throughout her own childhood and how they drove her to do the work she does today. In the spirit of the conference and to promote the event,
Esperança’s staff listed some reasons why healthworkers like Maria are so important:
Healthworkers count because:
- They Transform Lives
- They build community
- Healthier people mean a healthier society
- Health is a human right
- They provide outreach efforts and culturally sensitive solutions to communities in need
- They provide hope, knowledge and opportunities so that our children and their families have a healthier and brighter future
- They respond to local needs
- They make kids’ lives better
Let us know why #healthworkers count to you!