UA SBRP and Binational Center host Asthma and Allergies Promotora Training, conducted by Renowned Researcher, Dr. Fernando Martinez

The UA SBRP and U.S.-Mexico Binational Center for Environmental Sciences and Toxicology (Binational Center) hosted its third Promotora training entitled: “Asthma and Allergies” for the Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. (SERI) community health advocates (Promotoras) at the St. Elizabeth of the Hungary Clinic in Tucson, Arizona on May 13, 2009. A total of 15 Promotoras participated in the training.

Dr. Fernando Martinez, Director, Arizona Respiratory Center and Interim Director, BIO5 Institute, conducted the training in Spanish and provided an excellent introduction and overview regarding asthma and allergies, environmental triggers, genetic predispositions, intervention techniques and current research questions. Dr. Martinez’ presentation was energetic and well received by the Promotoras. The presentation ended with a flurry of questions.

To complement Dr. Martinez’ presentation, Promotoras were guided through the “Asthma and Allergy Museum Walk”. UA SBRP and Binational Center Coordinators (Rocio Estrella, Denise Moreno Ramirez and Monica Ramirez) worked collaboratively with the UA Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Community Outreach and Education Program Director, Marti Lindsey to translate the museum walk into Spanish and facilitate the museum at the training. The interactive, hands-on, museum walk consisted of the following five stations: 1) “Know Your Lungs”; 2) “What is Asthma and Allergy?”; 3) “Indoor Allergens”; 4) “Outdoor Pollutants”; and 5) “Susceptibility Factors and Managing Asthma and Allergy”.

Future Research and Trainings
In order to continue to provide relevant information and improve upon our Promotora trainings, pre and post evaluations were given to the Promotora participants to determine the success of the presentation and museum walk. This surveying effort represents one of the new directions  the UA SBRP Research Translation and Community Outreach Core’s are taking to improve their information dissemination activities. Together, in the near future, these Core’s will be developing metrics for environmental research translation, and applying them to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental research translation efforts specific to the demographics of the Southwestern United States.

This training clearly demonstrates how the UA SBRP and Binational Center work diligently to decrease the information gap between academia and the community. The UA SBRP and Binational Center anticipate their next training will concern, Water Infrastructure and Sustainable Practices in the Southwest and Northern Mexico.