FRONTERA students teamed up with SEAHEC staff this year to create on-line health resources in lieu of conducting in-person community projects. The audience for a new video series was Ventanilla de Salud and residents of Winchester Heights. Several times a year, SEAHEC hosts health professions students who come to the border region to participate in community projects designed to provide an immersive learning experience while promoting public health in rural communities, here in Arizona and in Mexico. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year FRONTERA students were not able to conduct in-person activities but they were still able to create a very useful tool that we hope will benefit many. The FRONTERA students worked with Brenda Sanchez, SEAHEC Border Binational Program Coordinator and Linda Cifuentes, SEAHEC Capacity Building Coordinator at Winchester Heights to create videos demonstrating how to use the Capacitar Emergency Response toolkit.
Capacitar international is a network that focuses on teaching body-based practices that empower people to use their inner wisdom to help and transform themselves to health injustice and build peace in their families and communities. The Emergency Response toolkit is available in over 20 languages and has been used worldwide. FRONTERA students used their creativity and technology skills to create Spanish videos that were used as a supplement with the written format of the toolkit. These videos were first showcased on the Winchester Heights Community Facebook page as a week-long video series called “Winchester en armonía”- the video series started with an introduction to the toolkit and how it could be used. Every day of the week, students posted a new video demonstrating how to properly use the toolkit techniques. Winchester promotores (community health workers) also distributed hard copies of the Spanish version of the Capacitar Emergency Response toolkit.
Students created videos demonstrating finger holds to manage emotions, emotional freedom technique (EFT), Body Energy Point Holds, acupressure for pain and traumatic stress and acupressure to relax the head, neck and shoulders. Brenda and Linda created similar videos for the Ventanilla de Salud-Douglas Facebook page called “Ventanilla de Salud en armonía.” They began their series with a lesson on the health benefits of the capacitar toolkit. Each day they posted a new video demonstrating the proper ways of using the techniques. They also uploaded the videos to the Ventanilla de Salud YouTube channel so that they can be accessible to more people.
FRONTERA is a summer internship program offered by the University of Arizona that provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to prepare for graduate school, participate in hands-on research, and and develop increased understanding of public health disparities in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region.
SEAHEC has collaborated with the University of Arizona’s FRONTERA program since 2013 to host a three-day service learning immersion in border communities. The experience, provided through our Student Training Opportunities Program guides health professions students in collaborating with rural residents and health care providers to develop and conduct projects that promote improved public health in local rural communities.
Through the years, students have learned about:
- Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
- SEAHEC’s programs and volunteer opportunities
- Mexican and Tribal health systems
- Services provided by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) such as Mariposa Community Health Center
- Services provided at Tohono O’odham Health Care in Sells, Arizona.
Students worked with SEAHEC and the Arizona Department of Health Services (AzDHS) in 2018 on the “Fight the Bite” campaign to stamp out mosquito borne diseases. Students canvassed neighborhoods in Ambos Nogales, providing information about how to prevent the spread of mosquito borne illnesses
Since 2018 FRONTERA students have devoted their annual community service learning project to working with the Winchester Heights Community. In 2018 students helped install insulation in the newly constructed community center and in 2019 students initiated the construction of the playground.
About Ventanilla de Salud
The Mexican Consulate provides the Ventanilla de Salud program to “satisfy the demand for information on Health Services for members of the Mexican Migrant Community who live and work in the United States.” The Consulate works with community partners to provide health information “to guide and inform the community on issues related to prevention, promotion and health education.” In January, 2020 the Mexican Consulate in Douglas teamed up with SEAHEC to expand the Ventanilla de Salud program into Cochise, Graham and Greenlee Counties.