July 06, 2001

To help Hispanics receive more information on health issues that affect them, local leaders recently joined Pfizer in launching its new health-awareness program--Sana La Rana Cuentos de Salud (Stories of Health)--and the 54 foot-long community-outreach vehicle (COV) that will deliver the program to Hispanic neighborhoods throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Cuentos de Salud is based on a famous Hispanic children's rhyme-"Sana, Sana, colita de rana. Si no sanas hoy sanarás mañana." (If you don't feel well today, you will tomorrow.) Pfizer modified the rhyme to emphasize a preventative healthcare message: "Sana, Sana, Colita de Rana¡No deje su salud para mañana! (Take Care of Yourself Today, Don't Put Off Your Health Til Tomorrow!

In reaching out to the Hispanic community, the Cuentos de Salud COV will offer a variety of health education services:

-screenings for cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, and depression;
-access to public health insurance advisors;
-cooking classes for healthier eating;
-health education on asthma, diabetes, heart disease and healthy lifestyles, including diet, exercise, and stress management.

"As our Hispanic community continues to grow, so does the need for programs such as Cuentos de Salud," State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello M.D., M.P.H., Dr. P.H. said. "Under Governor Pataki's leadership, through Child Health Plus and the soon-to-be implemented Family Health Plus, New York is doing more than any other state to provide health insurance for its residents. But we can always do more and that's where Pfizer and the Cuentos de Salud COV comes into play. I commend Pfizer for their commitment to this effort and I am particularly pleased that my staff from the Health Department will be on board to help uninsured COV visitors complete enrollment forms so that they can get the health insurance they need and deserve."

In addition, bilingual nurses from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and Liberty Healthcare System of New Jersey will staff the Cuentos de Salud COV; health materials will be provided both in English and Spanish.

"Our Hispanic community needs health education that speaks directly to us in our own language and--even more importantly--in a culturally relevant manner" said Rosa Gil, D.S.W., University Dean for Health Sciences at City University of New York. "Through the Martinez family, the Cuentos de Salud program does just that."

Created as the lead characters in the Cuentos de Salud stories, the Martinez family faces some of the key health issues affecting many Hispanic New Yorkers, including heart disease, diabetes and depression. Through interactions between the Martinez family and the Sana La Rana character--the program's spokesperson for preventative health--the program encourages
members of the Hispanic community to take the initiative in managing their own health.

"At Pfizer our mission is to become the company most valued by patients and by the communities where Pfizer people work and live," said Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D., Medical Director, Public Health, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. "As a New York company for over 150 years, we are proud to work with leading local health organizations to bring Cuentos de Salud to the Hispanic community."

The Sana La Rana Cuentos de Salud program and the Community Outreach Vehicle have already begun visiting Hispanic communities in the New York metropolitan area. To find out when the COV will be in a specific neighborhood, members of
the local community may log-on to www.SanaLaRana.com or call 1-800-310-8012.

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