International Valley Health Institute
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The American Lung Association 
Freedom From Smoking Program
The American Lung Association Freedom from Smoking program will be offered and is open for anyone willing to commit to the eight session, seven week program. Seating is limited. 


The program in English will initiate on April 3, 2013. The group will meet once a week on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. for one-and-a-half hours, with the exception of the fourth week which has two sessions, an additional Monday session and the normal Wednesday session. 


The program in Spanish will initiate on May 16, 2013. The group will meet once a week on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. for one-and-a-half hours. 
Please see flyer below for more information and for details on program location.  
First Aid Program 
 
This program is an outgrowth of a project funded by Brooks City Base in San Antonio involving a consortium of four universities and the US Air Force.  The report of that project can be found at the Michigan State University Julian Samora Research Institute web site at this link: http://www.jsri.msu.edu/RandS/research/irr/rr36abs.html

The Colonia First Aid Program program aims to immediately extend first aid accessability to colonias (i.e., isolated, low income, unincorporated communities) and lower the incidence of inappropriate emergency room visits by their residents. While similar in some respects to the long-standing community crime prevention program known as Neighborhood Watch, the Colonia First Aid and Disease Reporting Program is instead organized around providing accessibility to a first aid kit and the basic knowledge to use it. Furthermore, the program uses this basic program function as a basis to teach health literacy and gain improvement in community health maintainance. 

In the program, community health workers (Promotores) establish contact with colonia social networks and work with participants to learn about health and the appropriate ways to access the health care system. Each Colonia First-Aid Network receives a first-aid kit with a bilingual manual on first aid as well as 12 other basic health topics. Each network includes 8 to 12 families that decide among themselves in whose home the first-aid kit will reside. The home that holds the kit displays a green cross in the window inviting the general community to the home to use the kit as the need arises. Colonia residents are enthusiastic about the program, which has helped them to learn how to administer basic first aid, discern when an emergency room visit is or is not necessary, and better maintain their health. 

Some current participation statistics: 

• 27 colonias in Hidalgo County are participating in the program. They have close to 1,700 families with a total population of about 6,909. 

• 33 Colonia First-Aid Networks have been established in the 24 participating colonias with 255 families formally reporting on incidences of illness. They include 526 Adults and 520 children for a combined population of 1,046. 

• An additional 200 bilingual health manuals are in the homes of participating program colonia families who requested them. 

A desireable aspect to add to existing program activities is to often canvass participant families about their illnesses (e.g., whether someone has a fever, cough, sores, etc.) and the reporting to health department epidemiologists of the eight combinations of symptoms most associated with infectious disease with the goal of establishing seasonal trends.  This would improve the chances of detecting and controlling infectious disease outbreaks in the border region (whether naturally occurring or through bioterrorism) by detecting changes in trend data.
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