Mano y Mano Con Mi Communida


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Press Releases

We partnered with The Potomac Health Foundation, to better serve Our Youth and Our Community..

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Potomac Health Foundation Community Health Goals

The ASPIRA Association is requesting support to promote health, wellness, exercise and disease prevention focusing on building awareness of obesity, and diabetes among Hispanic youth and families in Prince William
County, Virginia. ASPIRA reviewed national and local data and interviewed individuals from the target community. Close to 20.9% of the residents of Prince William Country residents are Hispanic (US Census Bureau, 2009). Moreover, the Hispanic population in Prince William schools rose almost 300% from 2000 to 2010 (Washington Post (Feb. 4, 2011). According to the US Office of Minority Health (2013) obesity and diabetes are major health concerns in the Latino community as compared to non-Hispanic Whites. Consider the following:
 Among Latinas, 78 percent are overweight or obese, as compared to only 60.3 percent of the non-Hispanic White women.
 From 2009 – 2010 Hispanic children were 1.6 times more likely to be overweight compared to non- Hispanic children.
 According to the CDC (2005), Latino Americans are at double the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared with non-Hispanics of the same age.
 The prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes is higher among Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans than in non-Hispanic white persons (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden and, Curtin, 2010).
This is particularly of concern for Latinos in Northern Virginia. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (2009), diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. For Virginia, it accounted for 8.1 percent of all deaths. In 2009, 4,746 individuals died with diabetes listed as an underlying cause of death in Virginia. Through interviews, ASPIRA identified the needs related to obesity and diabetes in the target area:
 The lack of linguistically and culturally appropriate information on diabetes and obesity for effectively reaching the Latino community.
 The need to reach Latino youth early and educate them so that they do not develop obesity and diabetes.
 Lack of information on where to obtain information on diabetes and obesity.
ASPIRA’s solution included a multidimensional approach focusing on youth and families and is based on best practices. According to the Trust for America’s Health (2014) improving nutrition and physical activity are key strategies to reducing obesity. Also, the Prevention Institute (2013) suggests discouraging individuals from eating meals or snacks while watching TV and buying fewer high- calories, low-nutrient foods. Moreover, Fynn, et al. (2006) suggests that in working with immigrant and cultural groups, cultural, religious and dietary practices should be considered. Fynn indicated that community settings have the greatest applicability for working with cultural groups. Flynn noted that programs that include community stakeholders in program development are more likely to build ownership and commitment to the program.
The proposed program will utilize the best practices identified above by:
 Involving individuals from the target community in the planning and
implementation of the program.
 Offering 24 workshops for youth based on the National Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum. Developed by GW University in partnership with NIH, it promotes healthy eating, exercise and knowledge about obesity and diabetes. The curriculum is bilingual and research based.
 Engaging youth in a video contest with messages developed by young people. Through the development of video messages, youth will be empowered to make healthy choices about food, and more likely to influence their peers. This strategy includes the involvement of the target group.
 Promoting healthy eating, exercise, and awareness about obesity and diabetes through an information campaign through the use of social media, ASPIRA’s web page, and 24 Spanish language radio interviews.
 Educating and disseminating information to individuals through 24 workshops at community based organizations, Latino grocery stores, health fairs and at community events. This approach is consistent with working with cultural groups.
The program will be coordinated by the ASPIRA Association. The program will begin with signing agreements within 10 days of program approval. This will be followed by a press briefing with the local media. There will be meetings with key partners and an orientation program related to program design and objectives. Key program components include:
Youth Workshops: ASPIRA proposes to increase by 75% the awareness of 400 youth about the importance of healthy eating and exercise habits and their relationship to the prevention of diabetes and obesity through 24 awareness workshops to be measured through pre and post surveys. Timeline: one year.
Video Contest – ASPIRA will promote healthy eating and exercise habits through the development of video messages by young people. ASPIRA anticipates that 50 young people will participate in developing video messages. The awareness campaign will be measured through pre and post surveys of participants. Time frame: By the end of the third program quarter.
Community Awareness – The program will promote healthy eating and exercise habits through an awareness campaign about obesity and diabetes targeting approximately 2500 Prince William County Hispanics through 10 community events and 50,000 individuals through the use of the internet, social media, and local radio. This strategy will be measured by the number of individuals that receive information packets, referrals made and visits to our program web page. Timeline: this was completed one year.
Information on the program will be disseminated through participating schools, churches, community centers, businesses, project web page, radio talk shows and social media. Participants will be asked to complete an intake form and secure Parent Consent Forms. Workshops will be offered initially at Freedom High School and was expanded into Fredlynn Middle School in Woodbridge, VA. and The Boys and girls Club in Dale City VA.
At this time, we are exploring developing service learning opportunities and gift cards from local businesses as incentives for youth participants.
One of the potential program challenges could be low project participation due to competing activities or conflicts with other commitments. Should that be the case, we will expand our interventions into the target community and expand the number of community partners. We may have to invite more youth and schools to participate and provide other incentives for youth participants.
Language and cultural barriers will be addressed by a culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy. Location of services will be addressed by offering activities at facilities that are centrally located in the target communities.
2014-2015 Project was able to serve and train over 400 students on the importance and Healthy eating, Diabetes and Obesity. We immediately received feedback from students and parents who say they started eating better and moving towards a healthier more active lifestyle.


I started to eat apples and I am drinking more water.”
-Fred Lynn Middle School 6th Grader
I hope you are going to be here next year, we want you to come back
-Fred Lynn Middle School 8th Grader
You have really made a change in their lives
-Fred Lynn Middle School Teacher Ms. Paskow