Community Health Workers
Patrick Tang, MPH
Every year, Peers for Progress looks to the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine as an opportunity to learn from experts, share research findings from our network, and get inspired to take action. The conference caters to a wide range of interests, and yet attendees could spend the entire conference focusing on a narrow topic area. For example, I was particularly excited to see the number of presentations on technology-enhanced peer support and health coaching.
On our part, Peers for Progress investigators organized two symposia on peer support. The first symposium, Inside the Black Box: Deconstructing Social and Peer Support, took a deep dive into the mechanisms of effective interventions and offered practical recommendations to improve peer support programs. The second symposium, Peer Support: Channels of Dissemination, featured three model programs that have the potential to expand and sustain peer support for whole populations.
Clayton Velicer, MPH
Peers for Progress, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) cohosted a conference in April about the role of peer support in patient-centered medical homes and primary care. During the conference, we challenged each other to think about how peer supporters and community health workers can make the system more efficient, manageable, and affordable.
In this blog, we look at a specific example of incorporating lay health workers into the primary care health care team as “care guides”. The Health Affairs Blog highlighted the Robina project, which hired 12 lay health care workers (care guides) to work as part of a health care team serving patients with chronic diseases. These care guides did not have any medical training, but received a two week training on a number of topics including electronic health records, specific information about disease (hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure), tobacco…
Clayton Velicer, MPH
In our recent two part blog, we discussed the Institute of Medicine’s recent position paper on Community Health Workers (CHWs) that outlined some of the current challenges facing the CHW workforce and recommendations for steps moving forward. In this blog, we zoom in to the ground level in Mingo County, West Virginia, which has a great CHW program recently featured in AADE In Practice (American Association of Diabetes Educators).
The Mingo County Diabetes Coalition
Mingo County, in rural Appalachia, is categorized by many generations of family living in the same area, resulting in a strong bond with the land as well as the extended family. Diabetes is a major health concern in Mingo County where 13.1% of adults are living with the disease.
To address this problem, the county received supported from the CDC and the Appalachian Regional Commission to organize physical activity and healthy eating programs. The project received additional funding from the…