HHI builds the local capacity of its partner communities by training community health workers, or cooperadores de salud. The cooperadores act as resources, serving to bridge the gap between their communities, access to health care, and community health promotion. HHI cooperadores are:
- Providers of basic first aid, patient care, and individual case management
- Promoters of health education and connection to existing health systems
- Leaders within their communities, who act as agents of change in developmental and community health
The cooperadores work closely with the International Program Team to fulfill their initial training and monthly continuing education classes, and to receive support in managing individual patients, developing and teaching educational health workshops in their communities, and implementing community health projects. They also work in partnership with the medical service trip teams to ensure our field clinics respond effectively to community needs and assets.
The cooperadores are the key to continuity of patient care. Patients requiring follow-up after medical service trips are connected directly to their cooperador, who manages a caseload of individuals with chronic illnesses and acute conditions. They also facilitate and follow up on referrals to HHI’s network of local specialists. The high quality care that is provided during medical service trips continues through the dedication and hard work of our cooperadores.
HHI works with local physicians, community leaders, and other organizations to teach, develop, and evaluate this program – the first and only program of its kind in the region.