In communities with limited access to medical care, preventive care is invaluable. Houston Shoulder to Shoulder works to empower the people of Santa Ana and the surrounding area with education about common health challenges they face. Educational programs focus on the prevention and management of diabetes, how and why to maintain good dental hygiene, and the importance of good nutrition for children. To increase the impact and sustainability of these programs, Houston Shoulder to Shoulder trains community health workers along with community members.
Since 2012, Houston Shoulder to Shoulder has provided education for diabetics and community health workers in Santa Ana on the basics of diabetes and diabetes care, including complications, control, and the importance of nutrition and exercise. Educational materials include information on common medications to control diabetes and hypertension, the common course of diabetes, potential complications, and the typical step-wise approach to treatment.
Recently, students from our first undergraduate brigade developed presentations and activities for young children about the importance of a well-balanced diet. We also work with local schools to provide vitamin supplements to families in Las Crucitas and San Marcos, and to students in El Apintal, Barrio Nuevo. We are working to provide supplements to all families and students in the area. Schools in Santa Ana, Las Crucitas, El Hondable, El Carrizal, Los Amates, and San Marcos also receive presentations on nutrition.