Founded in 2005 by Julie Smithwick, PASOs supports South Carolina’s growing Latino population with culturally and linguistically appropriate resources to decrease health and early childhood disparities while improving participants quality of life, building a stronger South Carolina by supporting Latino communities with education, advocacy and leadership development. In 2010, PASOs implemented the Puentes Project in the Midlands, an initiative to empower Latino community members to become skilled educators, navigators and advocates for their peers. Since then it has evolved into a statewide program of community health workers. PASOs is called upon frequently to speak, advocate and lend their expertise in topics surrounding the well-being of the Latino immigrant population and has established itself as one of the most prominent, successful statewide organizations serving this population. Since its inception, PASOs has partnered with over 180 organizations at the local and state level to improve access to care for this often hard-to-reach population.
Recognized both locally and nationally for their work facilitating healthier communities, PASOs was recently named the 2017 Health Equity Hero by DentaQuest. This award, now in its third year, recognizes and commends the work of leaders who are breaking down barriers and developing innovative programming to improve health outcomes and access to care for underserved populations. In addition, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation identified PASOs to receive Exemplary Designation for the South – an honor attributed to only one organization or project per region – to be awarded this fall in Alabama.
For more information about PASOs amazing work, visit their website. http://www.scpasos.org/