PROTECT Community Engagement Team Participates in Health Centers Week in Puerto Rico

PROTECT CEC team members and participants engaged in educational activities at Camuy Health Services Center.

On Thursday, August 12th, members of the PROTECT Community Engagement Core (CEC) presented educational materials at two of the center’s recruitment clinic sites, Camuy Health Services and Morovis Community Health Center. Both sites are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which provide healthcare services especially to people from disadvantaged communities, including those who do not have access to health insurance. PROTECT’s presentations were part of an annual, week-long celebration of the island’s FQHCs.

CEC team members engaged both pregnant mothers and their children in a variety of activities, focusing on ways to reduce exposure to various chemicals. The team presented animated videos on contaminants such as pesticides and distributed pamphlets on chemicals such as phthalates, phenols, and parabens for the parents. Children received copies of a coloring/activity book on how to identify and avoid these chemicals. At both clinics, families had the chance to participate in a group activity, identifying healthy behaviors in a large poster drawing of cartoon characters in a street scene.

Both events were a great opportunity to connect with community members and the FQHCs, particularly after a year of social distancing and lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic. The Morovis Community Health Center has asked the CEC team to repeat the children’s activity at their location at a later date, and the CEC is also looking at expanding these and other educational activities to PROTECT’s other recruitment locations.