Wellness is an integral part of maintaining social, physical and mental well-being. The Promotora program is integral to community outreach, engagement, empowerment and health education. Our Medical-Legal Partnership, and Behavioral Health services aim to provide the community with evidence based approaches to empowerment and social issues. The Art and Culture and Puentes Yoga initiatives support fitness and mindfulness through yoga, dance, and cultural exploration and revitalization through various forms of art.

Promotora Program

Since 2007, Puentes de Salud has been cultivating and supporting a dedicated group of community members who serve as community health workers, or promotoras, in South Philadelphia. The program began in an effort to increase Puentes de Salud’s reach into the community and to tackle important health issues outside the clinic where individuals need direct support with lifestyle decisions. The promotoras address a wide range of issues in the service of their community, including diabetes prevention, cervical cancer prevention, prenatal care, obesity, and nutrition. They lead workshops, provide individual counseling and patient navigation, and participate in research. The Promotora Program exemplifies the mission and dedication of the staff and volunteers at Puentes de Salud. Read the article that appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer profiling their work.

Diabetes Prevention Program

Group classes provided by Puentes de Salud Promotoras include the DPP Group Lifestyle Balance™ (GLB) Program. This comprehensive lifestyle behavior change program was adapted from the National Institutes of Health funded Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a successful lifestyle intervention intended to prevent the progression to diabetes among participants with a diagnosis of prediabetes. The DPP Group Lifestyle Balance™ program is an approved curriculum for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program, an award Puentes de Salud received in August of 2015.

Healthy Heart Program – Pasos Adelante

Pasos Adelante for the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Latinx populations – focus on physical activity and nutrition promotion. Pasos Adelante goal is to reduce chronic disease risk factors among participants. Puentes de Salud Promotoras use an adaptation of the Pasos Adelante/Steps Forward curriculum, an expansion of the National Institutes of Health curriculum, Su Corazón, Su Vida. In this program, walking groups engage participants in a coordinated effort to increase physical activity through social support. Pasos Adelante evaluation results demonstrate a significant increase in moderate to vigorous walking among participants and shifts in nutritional patterns.

Caminata Para Una Buena Salud

In it’s third bi-annual event, Caminata Para Una Buena Salud (Walk for Good Health) is a three mile walk in South Philadelphia that aims to build community awareness of the health benefits of walking and healthy eating. The walk was established in 2014 by one of our Promotoras de Salud in response to community interest in healthy living and community engagement. Stay tuned for the 2018 Caminata!

Program Director: Dr. Sara Shuman  |  DPP / Pasos Adelante Manager: Dr. Victor Alos

Contact: Email: promotoras@puentesdesalud.org |  Phone: (484) 800-1285

Medical-Legal Partnership

Puentes de Salud and Friends of Farmworkers have joined forces to address the community’s needs in a holistic, effective and comprehensive manner. On-site attorneys efficiently and effectively address the most critical issues families face, allowing them to more readily access the tools they need lead stable and healthy lives.

This partnership elevates Puentes de Salud’s foundational principle that community health is not the sole domain of health care providers; instead, health and wellness require a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort that addresses the living and working conditions that influence individuals’ vulnerability to health problems. The partnership also complements Friends of Farmworker’s mission to provide civil legal services to low-income workers and immigrant clients. This partnership moves beyond the current systems of referrals by proactively collaborating in a single location to cross-train medical, legal, and interdisciplinary teams; and to identify and serve community members in need of multiple interventions, eliminating the barriers that currently prevent our clients from resolving even simple problems that touch on multiple disciplines.

By walk in on Mondays 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral health at Puentes de Salud works alongside our medical clinic, Promotora program volunteer psychologists, psychiatrists, and Medical-legal partners to coordinate holistic care for patients and clients. An on-site behavioral health consultant (BHC) performs brief counseling interventions to improve our patients’ wellness and to address the burden of trauma, depression, anxiety, life stressors, domestic violence, and alcohol abuse experienced by our patients

Additionally, we have developed a program targeting our patients who require “complex care.” These are patients who have end-stage disease or require frequent medical referrals or procedures to manage their illness. Many of these patients also have complex social needs underlying their complicated medical issues. Our behavioral health consultant works with these patients longitudinally to provide support, in addition to addressing any mental health issues that may be complicating their medical problems.

By appointment on Mondays 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Charla Program

This program features weekly discussions, or charlas, on a wide range of topics, led by volunteers in the clinic waiting room. The charlas are intended to educate community members about health-related topics such as diabetes prevention, hypertension, and bone health. The program also covers topics that are not specifically focused on medical issues, but that play an important role in community health, such as immigrants’ rights, bike safety, sun protection and food stamp eligibility. Representatives of partnering organizations help present many of the nonmedical discussions, and refer Puentes de Salud’s patients to the services they provide.

Puentes Yoga

Yoga is a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice. It combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation. Potential health benefits of yoga include but are not limited to stress reduction; improved fitness with a focus on balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength (which in turn decreases the likelihood of injury); and management of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Puentes de Salud has been offering yoga in the vinyasa tradition since 2012. The classes are free and taught by certified yoga teachers.

Advanced registration required for all classes.
Yoga, Tuesdays 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Zumba, Thursdays 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Pilates, Saturdays 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

We are accepting volunteers!

Contact: Adina Lieberman, Instructor and Coordinator Email: yoga@puentesdesalud.org

Art and Culture

In collaboration with Puentes, Mexican artist Nora H. Litz aims to empower and revitalize the Mexican community through the artistic exploration of immigration and social justice in the United States and Mexico. Children, adolescents, and adults use mixed media to recount their own personal stories. They learn to use different materials and techniques, including fabric, paper, drawing, painting, pasting, printing, beadwork, stitching, weaving, poetry, song writing. In this way, together, a multi-media project recapitulates, in a microcosm of artistic expression, the fundamentals of world geography and history. Art contributes to the holistic mission of Puentes by promoting healing through expression and storytelling. 

Advanced registration required. Clases offered on Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Contact: Call: (267) 714-8048  |  Email: art@puentesdesalud.org

Las ligas que nos unen (“The Ties That Bind Us”)  tells the stories of children from Puebla, San Lucas Atzala, San Andrés Calpan, and San Mateo Ozolco whose parents left them in order to find work in the U.S. In creating large format, mixed media dioramas and narrating, they tell their stories of endurance, emotional traumas, and aspirations. Their powerful voices accompany a visual tour that illustrates the affliction of migration. This project also allows these children to recognize their path forward, which includes connecting with their parents and strengthening the value of their ancestry and culture. Puentes highlighted the work of Nora Litz and in particular, the “Ties That Bind Us” during the International Metropolis Conference held at the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mexico City in September 2015. (read more)

El Viaje de Los Niños (“The Children’s Journey”) tells the stories of Mexican immigrant children who have crossed the border to come live in Philadelphia. Through hands-on art sessions with artist Nora H. Litz, the children created large-scale dioramas that illustrated their travels and the effects of this migration on their lives and identities. Narrating their stories with accompanying audio tracks, the children take us along with them on their northern pilgrimage. Small paintings and poems by immigrant adults augment the children’s stories to fully reveal their emotional journeys.

The El Viaje project is itself a journey. It began in the Carpenter Street studio of Nora Litz, originally from Mexico City, as a collaborative exercise allowing children to acknowledge and express their feelings about crossing the desert. On a long sheet of brown paper (“the desert”), one end representing Mexico and the other, the United States, she asked the children to draw the things they encountered between locations. The El Viaje project evolved into El Viaje de Los Niños. The students, assisted by Litz and sometimes their parents, used a variety of materials, including clay, paint, and found objects, to transform their sketches into three-dimensional diorama works. These sculptures touch upon the many hardships the children faced—from leaving family behind in Mexico, to border control security, to secretly moving from “safe house” to “safe house.”

Nora Litz also created a map illustrating the amount of walking hours that it takes to walk from Mexican cities to destinations in the United States—a physical endeavor that some of the children endured during their immigration. Audio tracks and wall texts are featured in both Spanish and English languages so many audiences can access these tales. For more information visit El Viaje Project.