Pastora Margarita Martinez leads Alamo Community Church (ACC) in the Rio Grande Valley. Margarita and her church partner with Urban Strategies to lead Bienestar (“Wellness”), a program that recognizes faith leaders as public health promoters and trusted gatekeepers of the community.
Urban Strategies' work is effective because of community- and faith-based partners who have earned the trust of the communities we serve. Pastora Maricela Hernandez, leader of Family Christian Assembly, a partner church in the Rio Grande Valley, is a shining example of Christian Community Development.
Natural disasters underscore that the church is the strongest first responder. However, there is still much work to be done. The goal is not merely to sustain survival but to help communities thrive in the wake of devastation.
The Family & Child Academy (FCA) is an Early Head Start center operated by Urban Strategies. We offer cost-free, comprehensive early childhood development services to qualifying families. Our programming is designed to include families in their child's growth and development. Read to learn how FCA served the Caroll family and their daughter, Jenna.
Urban Strategies has mobilized faith and community based organizations in Central Florida to respond to the needs of Puerto Rican evacuees arriving to Florida.
Three hurricanes have hit our beloved communities of Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico over the past month and a half. We know so many of you were either directly impacted by one of these natural occurrences or have friends and family that have experienced lose because of the hurricanes. Our hearts have been heavy for you, your loved ones and your communities. Here are at Urban Strategies, we have been working to respond and support you and your community by determining what is needed in each community to mobilize resources to respond. This has taken us from working on emergency relief distribution to now focusing on mold remediation.
The media has been full of reports regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA. It is important get the information from reliable sources on this important issue, which is why we are attempting to provide you with the facts of this policy and the resources to utilize to stay informed and updated.
As a Latina, I know all too well how stereotypes and bias can impact the care we receive. When I was delivering my first child, I was subjected to all sorts of assumptions about my marital status, income, education and breastfeeding knowledge. It’s a mindset that permeates health professionals, from physicians to nurses, at times unintentionally impacting the care they give and, at other times, their best intentions block our efforts to support our families.
My pregnancy and child birth was not what I had planned. By week 28, I was hospitalized with preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys) and by week 31 1/2 my doctors advised that my labor should be induced to reduce the risk for me and my infant.
As Latinos, family is central to our lives and research has shown it is also central to our health. This is also true for breastfeeding – men must be included in the larger conversation. Doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals must authentically engage fathers in planning for breastfeeding as one part of their role as caregivers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continuation for at least the first year after birth. Latinas start breastfeeding at very high rates (over 80%) which demonstrates our understanding of the importance of breastfeeding and the desire to provide the best for our babies...
The new year has started and with it, resolutions to change health patterns, lose weight, get moving or exercising again. Though there is nothing magical about making a commitment now, we at Urban Strategies get excited when we hear that someone has chosen to make changes towards well-being.
Over the last couple of months, we have explored what wellness means for you physically, mentally, and in your families. This month, we will explore wellness at work and its benefits for employees, companies and organizations.
Thanksgiving is technically over but the message of thanksgiving permeates the holiday season. We are told to be thankful, to make dinner for friends and family, to reflect on the things that matter most. As we approach the end of the year, we at Urban Strategies have much to be grateful for.
Here at Bienestar we care and work hard to support the health and wellbeing of our communities. Some people use the term health interchangeably with wellbeing, yet we believe that wellbeing goes beyond health to encompass all the areas of life that influence our ability to thrive.
Regardless if you are trying to conceive, currently pregnant or have just given birth, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key in preparing both the mother and the baby for the best possible outcomes and a healthy start. There are many recommendations for a healthy pregnancy that come from health practitioners, experts and many of our own friends and familia. This article will focus on key practices that will support and prepare women for some of the many challenges that come from being and staying healthy in every stage of pregnancy.
At Bienestar, we all have a health story to share. The mission of health and well-being is more than just a project we work on. For most of us, it is a personal journey that has led us to do this work full-time. Many of us have struggled with health issues that have limited our quality of life that has forced us to confront or address our health needs. For others, the journey has brought us to a place of rediscovering our capacity to push our bodies through exercise that we never dreamed possible.
That’s me between President Clinton and President Bush last week at the graduation of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program. I had the honor of being selected for the 2016 class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) Program. This bipartisan program sought to bring together leaders from all walks of life and industry who share a commitment to helping solve society’s greatest challenges.
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