Mariposa Community Health Center: Platicamos Salud

Vivir Mejor!

Santa Cruz County is contiguous with the international border with Mexico. Its way of life—history, people, culture, and economy—are linked to its neighbors in the state of Sonora, Mexico. The main population center for the county and region is known as Ambos Nogales, or The Two Nogales, as it is made up of two tightly knit cities that are separated only by the international border fence. Nogales, Arizona is home to two very active ports of entry that welcome a steady flow of people and commerce. The border also experiences many challenges to health, including economic concerns, lack of access to affordable and healthy foods, and limited infrastructure for physical activity.

Group photo of Salud staff

The Mariposa community health center (MCHC) health promotion program, originally known as Platicamos Salud (Let’s Talk Health) is an example of how PEI academic and community partnerships have leveraged federal funding to build and sustain evidence-based programs that are rooted in community. PEI partners worked closely with MCHC community health workers to develop and evaluate their first program in the 1980s: A cancer prevention program (Juntos Contra el Cáncer) that is still serving breast cancer survivors in Ambos Nogales today. 

From 2012 -2020, the PEI collaborated with Mariposa CHWs on a chronic disease consortium called ¡Vivir Mejor!. Designed to increase access to quality health care, health education, healthy food, and activities for physical activity, the PEI helped the partners develop a robust evaluation that made a case for ongoing funding.

Our collaboration also produced creative ways to share what we learned: