PASOs (which means “steps” in Spanish) is the only statewide organization that connects Latino families to health, early childhood development and other resources to guarantee Latino families have access to adequate medical attention and other needed services in South Carolina. PASOs is a community-based organization started in 2005 to support our state’s growing Latino population with culturally and linguistically appropriate resources in order to decrease health and early childhood disparities and improve quality of life for participants. Through trust building in Latino communities, using an evidence-based Community Health Worker model, PASOs has developed strong relationships with Latino communities making it possible to fill in the gaps for this vulnerable and often isolated population.
PASOs began in the Lowcountry in 2009 as an initiative of Together for Beaufort County Adequacy of Prenatal Care Coalition T4BC-APCC), thanks to a Community Grant by the South Carolina March of Dimes. The initial aim of bringing PASOs to the Lowcountry was to reach pregnant Latino women coming to deliver their children to local hospitals and providing them with needed support for adequate prenatal care and education through PASOs Prenatal Workshops. As children were born, the needs of Latino families also changed, and PASOs has strived to collaborate with local, State and National agencies and organizations to provide more effective health and social services support as well as early childhood development programs and services.
Through extensive trust building in Latino communities using an evidence-based Community Health Workers (CHWs), PASOs has developed strong relationships that help us fill in the gaps for this vulnerable, isolated and hard to reach population.
Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. (BJHCHS)’ mission is to provide quality, affordable, accessible and comprehensible health care services to the South Carolina Lowcountry Community. As an active partner of T4BC-APCC, BJHCHS has supported PASOs in the Lowcountry since the beginning, as both are interested in better reaching and serving Latino communities in their service area.. In 2011, and after the passing of USCB Professor Mulkey, BJHCHS became PASOs Lowcountry’s host site and fiduciary agency. BJHCHS hired PASOs CHWs to further its mission when working with the Spanish-speaking population. Now, two full-time PASOs CHWs are implementing PASOs Health Connections. In this setting, PASOs-BJHCHS CHWs connect Spanish-speaking patients to other health, early childhood development and community services, and help individuals to address social determinants of health and access to care issues and other environmental factors that hinder their wellbeing , including resource navigation and connection to resources such as Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, and other systems etc.
Why is it important?
CHWs can improve the quality of care given to the Latino patient/client of a health system, clinic or community organization.
Clinical care only constitutes 20-25% of a person’s overall health. The remainder is related to social determinants of health, access to care and environmental factors. This program helps to alleviate these pressures.