The Latino Family Advisory Board is composed of Spanish-speaking families from the community who are dedicated to helping promote and create better health services for Latino families. When asked about areas for improvement, community board members identified a great need for helping Latino families navigate the healthcare system. Members suggested that a good way to achieve this goal would be through providing families with a text messaging support system. Inspired by the members’ ideas, Dr. Lisa DeCamp, MD, Children’s Medical Practice, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, developed a project to address these needs. The project received a research award through the Moore Foundation to move the project’s implementation forward. Through collaboration with the board, the project was named “Salud al Día” (Up-to-date Health).
Salud al Día is a pilot study to help address healthcare disparities among Latino children through increasing the healthcare engagement of Spanish-speaking Latino parents. The study will integrate text messages and educational video components to address key gaps in health system knowledge, and promote the participation of Latino parents in healthcare. Participants in the study will receive text messages reminding them of their child’s clinic appointments and community events that promote healthy behaviors and well-being. Texts will also offer tips on how to increase healthcare engagement and offer assistance with obtaining medicine or scheduling referral appointments. The video and supporting educational materials will provide parents with additional knowledge on how to navigate the healthcare system and offer resources for help.
Community board members have been involved in all aspects of the development of Salud al Día. They have helped in the creation of the text message transcripts, and have edited the messages to make sure everything is said in a clear and culturally appropriate manner. The video component of the pilot study is currently in development with the assistance of the Center for Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Board members have assisted in designing the study logo and in creating the characters and narrative story of the video. Through Salud al Día, Dr. DeCamp and her team will pilot the text messages and educational materials with families at the Children’s Medical Practice at Johns Hopkins Bayview. Board members hope to develop resources that will, one day, be able to help all Latino families navigate the healthcare system.