Since 1999, Esperança has been working in the Phoenix Metropolitan area to meet the health needs of low-income and underserved families in our local neighborhood. Our expertise is providing evidence-based culturally appropriate health education to address obesity, lifestyle-related chronic diseases, and oral health.
In order to make a more significant impact, our model is to partner with medical and dental providers, schools, community centers, churches, and other community groups who share our mission, values and principles.
The communities that we work in, specifically the Central Phoenix I-17 corridor, have been rated as some of the highest need areas of Metropolitan Phoenix. Approximately 30% of children in Arizona are overweight and obese, and only 20% of adolescents report being “physically active”. The high rates of obesity have been shown to lead to other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. In Arizona 40.4% of Arizona’s third graders have untreated tooth decay – the third highest rate in the nation. Over 1 million hours of school and 3 million hours of work are lost each year in Arizona because of dental problems. Health issues like these can require costly medical care. For families who are uninsured or underinsured, the results of these costs are devastating as parents struggle to decide whether to pay for medical treatment or daily necessities.
Esperanca’s programming helps low-income families make better decisions to live healthier lives by:
- Educating families how to make more nutritious decisions with their diet through group classes about portion size, food groups, reading food labels, cooking sessions, and a supermarket food tour
- Teaching adults and children how to become more physically active in their everyday life through activities like Zumba, walking, and active play
- Giving families access to healthy resources by partnering with local medical and dental clinics for low-cost services
- Helping families learn the importance of oral health in order to prevent pain and other-health related issues that can affect school absences and high healthcare costs