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Community Programs

Faculty, staff and students collaborate with a variety of community organizations providing health services and promoting health information in various venues: Health centers, schools, churches, health fairs, and even homes.  Below are some of the different community programs that we have:


An Overview of the Charleston PASOs Program (click to open Power Point)

Like most mothers, immigrant Latina mothers share the desire to have healthy families. However, in their new communities here in SC, they oftentimes lack the information and power to make healthy and informed decisions for themselves and their families.  Perinatal Awareness for Successful Outcomes (PASOs) provides a bridge between the Latino community and the health care system in order to maximize the health of Latino women and children, and provide them with access to needed resources.

The mission of PASOs is to empower Latino families to optimize maternal and child health within their social and cultural context through education, outreach, partnerships, and advocacy.  This community based program works to achieve this mission through:

  • Prenatal education with groups of Latinas that focus on participants' strength and work to build trusting relationships
  • Training of community-based peer educators to sustain healthy practices and increase access to care
  • The formation of partnerships between the Latino communities of SC, academia, the non-profit sector, and the public health care system

​Promotores Program

The PASOs program focuses on cultural strengths, building bridges between the Latino community and the health care system. One of the core programs of the PASOs program model is the development of training for grassroots leaders called “Promotores” (Community Health Workers). The PASOs program in Charleston currently works with 14 Promotores who receive regular training in topics related to health promotion as well as capacity building training through the facilitation of workshops. Promotores also participate in outreach events and provide one on one assistance and advocacy to community members as they navigate health systems.

For more information, please visit the state PASOs website or contact Virginia Vedilago at 843-792-4362 (office) or 843-323-8160 (cell).

Visit the Charleston Area PASOs Program | En Español

 Visit PASOs Twitter


The Abrazos program is a family literacy program through the Charleston County School District for Spanish-speaking mothers and their 3-year-old children.  As the children are developing their school readiness skills (gross and fine motor skills, speech and language, and cognitive and social abilities), their mothers are focusing on learning English as a Second Language and participating in a weekly health promotion class.  The program meets four days a week at Midland Park Primary School in North Charleston and serves approximately 50 Spanish-speaking women and their children. PASOs partners with Abrazos to provide comprehensive and culturally appropriate health education to the Abrazos participants.