Ten years later, the Healthy Immigrant Families program has grown to include the entire Latino and Somali communities in the city. It also sports a new name—Healthy Immigrant Communities. “We identified those families that were having health issues and then after that, we were implementing some interventions,” Porraz said.
Those interventions include things like teaching people how to read nutrition labels and finding creative ways to exercise.
“The community has shown through many researchers that we have done that they need someone from the community to go out, someone that they understand, someone that speaks their language, and it makes it a lot easier when people see familiar faces,” Yahye Ahmed, a family health promoter with the Rochester Healthy Community Partnership, said. More than 1,300 people from Rochester’s Latino and Somali communities took part in a study focusing in part on people's networks and how being connected to others improved health...
“A lot of our Somali community, a lot of families come from a different background, a different country where the weather is always nice, where they walk a lot and when you come to America all those things kind of disappear,” Ahmed said.
RHCP is using those networks to improve peoples’ health by connecting them to others for yoga groups, exercise classes and more, breaking down barriers that lower peoples’ well-being. “It's not only the academics or the doctors, it's all together. We're talking about religious leaders, community partners, community leaders,” Porraz said.