Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World



Institute of Medicine Discussion Paper on Community Health Workers

Clayton Velicer, MPH

In the past month, we’ve seen an increase in news coverage of Community Health Workers (CHWs) as they take on bigger roles in the US healthcare system. A feature in Modern Healthcare highlighted successful CHWs programs in Minnesota, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Florida became the latest state to establish certification for CHWs.

On February 4th, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a discussion paper on CHWs. In this blog, we take a look at the benefits and implementation challenges outlined in this paper.
Community Health Workers Save Costs
The authors of the IOM paper cite that CHWs save costs for providers. For example, CHWs produced a return on investment of 4:1 when working with children with asthma and a return on investment of 3:1 for Medicaid enrollees with unmet long-term care needs.

According to the authors, if the cost savings for CHWs were the “results for a clinical trial for a drug, we would likely see pressure for fast…


National Implementation of Peer Support Programs for Veterans

Clayton Velicer, MPH

In April, one of our blogs highlighted Buddy-to-Buddy, a peer support intervention at the University of Michigan that helps citizen soldiers overcome barriers to treatment, maintain adherence to treatment, and navigate the health system.

Since this blog was written, there have been calls for increased funding and resources to implement peer support programs for the veteran population. In Texas, state lawmakers recently passed legislation that appropriated an additional $4 million in the 2014-15 Department of State Health Services budget to help service members, veterans and their families connect with peer volunteers. It is estimated that the funding will add 1,500 peer-to-peer volunteers to the workforce next year. In New York, special funding was recently awarded to expand peer support programs aimed at veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder following a successful pilot program in 4 counties. On August 10th, President Obama addressed the…


The Expanding Role for Promotores in Health Reform: NCLR Annual Conference Highlights

Patrick Yao Tang, MPH

Each year, the National Council of La Raza hosts a sprawling conference to promote positive social change for the betterment of the Hispanic community. The event brings together influential leaders, organizations, institutions, and companies to tackle the most pressing issues facing the Hispanic community, from community empowerment to immigration to education to health. This year’s theme, “Rise as One”, highlights ascension to better opportunities, respect, and awareness with respect to the improved image, position, and power of the Hispanic community. It serves as a call for unity within communities of color and a challenge to climb upwards together.

The 2013 NCLR Annual Conference was held from July 20-23 in New Orleans, LA. Over four days, attendees took part in Town Hall discussions, luncheons, and over 50 workshops on 11 tracks. On the final day of the conference, attendees lined up for hours for a chance to see First Lady Michelle Obama…

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