Concern America’s unique and award-winning health care model trains members of the community to be their own health care providers, which has brought affordable and accessible health care to remote communities in Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Concern America sends health/public health professionals who train local people, selected by their own communites, to become primary health care workers. The role of these Health Promoter Practitioners is to diagnose and treat illnesses, and to provide education and organization to improve the health of the community. The training also includes midwives who focus on women’s health, as well as dental promoters.
The Health Promoter Practitioners and midwives usually have little formal education and no background in health care work. They are taught about the causes and treatments of common illnesses, including how to use World Health Organization-designated “Essential Medicines”, and often develop the skills comparable to a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant.
An integral part of this health training is leadership formation and community organization. The community is involved at all levels of training and administration, and makes all major decisions. This approach recognizes that in order to create truly healthy communities, in addition to health care and education, we must also address socioeconomic and environmental factors that lead to poor health