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…
Clayton Velicer, MPH
In our August Newsletter we highlighted the growth of community health workers (CHWs), particularly in Latino communities. We also highlighted an example of CHWs using mobile technology to boost impact in underserved Latino communities. In this blog, we’ll look at a related study that was recently covered by Medscape Medical News.
This article in Diabetes Care published results from the Diabetes Among Latinos Best Practices Trial (DIALBEST). In this study, 211 adult Latinos with diabetes were randomized to receive either 17 in-home educational sessions delivered by trained and supervised bilingual/bicultural CHWs or standard care. To help others replicate and scale up the model, the study thoroughly described the CHW training program and delivery of the intervention. In this blog, we took highlights from the article on Medscape Medical News, including commentaries from the research team.
Training and Supporting CHWs
Strong CHW training programs are…
Huyen Vu, MPH
Community health workers (CHWs) serve an increasingly important role as intermediary between patients and health services. In low-income and middle-income countries, where healthcare systems often face resource shortages, CHWs find themselves taking on a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. In these settings, providing strong supervision for CHWs is vital to ensuring consistent quality of care.
Studies suggest that effective supervision of CHWs can motivate them, create a sense of legitimacy for both CHWs and the community they serve, identify and correct poor CHW practices, and help resolve challenges unique to CHWs (Jenkins R et al., 2013; Ledikwe J et al., 2013). In practice, however, the quality of CHW supervision is highly variable due to lack of skills and tools, limited transportation resources, financial obstacles, and cultural factors in the local health systems.
In an effort to help improve the quality of CHW supervision, Zelee Hill and her…