Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World



Medical Assistants Can Be Effective Health Coaches

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….


Dulce Mothers: Promotoras and Mothers with Gestational Diabetes

Clayton Velicer, MPH

For a long time, promotoras have helped improve access to healthcare and self-management of chronic diseases. See our previous coverage of the great work done by promotoras in mental health, improving mother’s dietary intake and improving hypertension outcomes.

In this week’s blog we highlight a recent article by Athena Philis-Tsimikas that examined the effectiveness of the Dulce Mothers program, a promotora intervention designed to lower diabetes and cardiovascular risk in Latinas following gestational diabetes.

All women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus have a sevenfold higher likelihood of future type 2 diabetes and also have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to mothers that do not have gestational diabetes. Latinas, in particular, are at higher risk for both gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes compared to non-Latino whites.
Training and Intervention
The Dulce Mothers intervention adopted the…


Workplace Wellness Meets Peer Coaching: Fuel Your Life

Clayton Velicer, MPH

Two strengths of the peer support model are 1) flexibility for adaptation to different communities or settings and 2) modularity, which offers the ability to build peer support on top of existing programs to create more effective, multi-level interventions. In the United States, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has been adapted to incorporate peer support in a variety of settings and populations.

According to the American Diabetes Association website, the DPP has 8 key features, which includes individual case managers or lifestyle coaches, frequent contact, a core curriculum that teaches behavioral self-management, and clinical support.

The role of the case manager or lifestyle coach can be adapted for peer health coaches. When Peers for Progress grantee Tricia Tang incorporated peer support into the DPP in a church-based setting, she found the adaptation feasible and enhanced the potential to improve health outcomes for high-risk African…

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