The Holy Cross Ministries Promotora Program connects low-income mothers to health care and education.
The Promotora Program uses bilingual, bi-cultural outreach workers to help connect low-income women to prenatal care and community resources. Many of the women we serve are first time moms: women like Nancy, who aren’t sure where to turn for high-quality help with their babies.
Nancy came to the United States when she was 16 years old and 5 months pregnant. Nancy felt alone, isolated from her family by her mother’s disappointment about her unexpected pregnancy. Nancy felt like a failure and she had no one to turn to for help.
Nancy started attending Holy Cross Ministries’ prenatal classes held South Main Clinic in Salt Lake City a few weeks after arriving in the United States. While attending the classes, Esperanza, a Holy Cross Promotora, was able to assess some of Nancy’s needs. Nancy had never received any type of prenatal care, so Esperanza helped her make appointments at the clinic, offered to translate for her checkups, and helped answer Nancy’s questions about her pregnancy. Esperanza helped Nancy sign up for the WIC program and as her delivery grew nearer, she was assisted in obtaining Medicaid coverage for the birth of her baby.
Nancy was quickly embraced by the other women who were taking prenatal classes from Holy Cross. They rallied around her and assisted Nancy in any way that they could. One woman even taught Nancy how to ride the bus so that she could attend her prenatal appointments.
Nancy first attended the prenatal classes because they were fun, informative, and interesting. She was able to openly discuss her feelings and frustrations because she knew she was in a safe place. Nancy had found a place where she was welcomed and where others could relate to her and her situation.
Esperanza was able to meet Nancy’s mother and reinforce the importance of a good mother-daughter relationship. They were both able to learn communications skills that brought them closer together.
Nancy completed twelve prenatal classes before the birth of her beautiful baby girl. When she came home from the hospital, she was welcomed by Esperanza as well as other members of her prenatal class, with a beautiful basket filled with baby supplies provided by the St. Martha’s Baby Project. Nancy is now attending ESL classes so that one day she will be able to get a job so that she can provide for her daughter.
The Promotoras live in the communities that we serve, and help women like Nancy every day, women who rely on their friends and neighbors for education and support. Our programs have served the community since 2000, and are a critical part of ensuring that no matter their ethnicity or poverty level, Utah women can have healthy, happy babies.