El Sol is launching a greatly expanded health outreach and education program thanks to a $100,000 grant from Quantum Foundation, a West Palm Beach based grant making organization.
The two-year “Health Promoter” grant will fund the training of lay health advocates who will be responsible for educating people in their community about various health topics such as diabetes, which is the focus of the initial phase of the outreach program. “We all know diabetes is a big problem that affects one out of ten people nationally, and four out of ten people among our clients,” said El Sol Center Director Jocelyn Skolnik. Other issues the health promoters will handle include nutrition, health issues in the work place, domestic violence, and addiction.
El Sol is partnering with the Rural Women’s Health Project in Gainesville, which will train the health promoters and oversee the project. The goal of each volunteer will be to teach 10 others about the health topic of the month, expanding El Sol’s outreach efforts, which in the past has been limited to bringing health experts to talk with the workers at El Sol.
“We greatly appreciate Quantum Foundation’s grant because it will allow us to educate many more people about vital health issues than we’re currently able to reach,” Skolnik said. By the end of the two-year grant, she estimates the program will have reached 1,560 people in the community who cannot be reached by more traditional communication methods.
Quantum Foundation President Kerry Diaz said, “We’re excited to support this kind of innovative project that aligns so well with our mission to create a healthier Palm Beach County. We know that lay health workers provide a trusted bridge between the community and service providers, resulting in enhanced access to quality health care for all.”
The Quantum Foundation, a private grant-making organization, awards grants to approved charities and certain governmental entities serving Palm Beach County. The Foundation is the largest Palm Beach County-based health funder with 100% of grant dollars staying in the county, according to the Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN).