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
Continuing Health Coaching Programs in San Francisco
In spring 2014, Peers for Progress and the National Council of La Raza held a special meeting in San Francisco, California to discuss peer support programs for diabetes self-management around the world. Attendees expressed that one of the highlights of the meeting was having the opportunity to meet with peer health coaches from a local program at the University of San Francisco, California (UCSF). 6 peer health coaches sat on a panel discussion to share their experiences from working as health coaches. They were able to not only improve diabetes management amongst members of their community, but working as a coach also helped them with their own self-management. Hearing these powerful stories was inspiring for everyone with a passion for peer support.
Building on this experience, UCSF published a new study in April that tested health coaching delivered by medical assistants in place of peer health coaches….
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…