Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

New Peer Support Program Handbooks Help Communities Meet Healthcare Challenges

NCLR and Peers for Progress Release Comprehensive Guides to Implementing Peer Support Programs

LEAWOOD, Kan., April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Peers for Progress, a program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) announced the release of two essential guides to enable accelerated implementation and scale-up of peer support programs in order to meet global healthcare challenges.

The Peers for Progress Program Development Guide, is a comprehensive practical handbook representing the culmination of six years of intensive study and reporting by community health leaders across the globe. The guide serves as resource for potential and existing peer support program managers, providing step-by-step instruction on program planning, monitoring and evaluation, quality improvement, and sustainability. Healthcare providers and community leaders seeking to implement peer support programs will also find supporting documentation for their efforts in the form of a recently completed economic analysis report, which demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of implementing these programs and suggests an innovative payment model for peer support.

“We are very excited to introduce the Peers for Progress Program Development Guide, which offers a menu of good practices and how-to resources for the healthcare community,” said Edwin B. Fisher, global director of Peers for Progress. “Existing program directors will benefit from the guidance on how to create and maintain the necessary frameworks for successful programs, and new managers will find the tools they need to demonstrate the real-world application of peer support programs in a variety of community settings.”

The second resource, Mi Salud es Primero: A Model for Implementing a Promotores de Salud Program for Diabetes Self-Management in a Primary Care Settingoutlines an ideal design and implementation of a peer support program that could meet the needs of Spanish-speaking communities, which are often underserved and disproportionately affected by chronic illnesses such as diabetes. The guide draws on research from the Mi Salud es Primero/My Health Comes First program, targeted to urban, low-income primarily Latino adults with type 2 diabetes in Chicago, Illinois, which integrated promotores de salud or community health workers in a primary care setting

“NCLR finds that working with promotores de salud is highly effective in providing Latinos with the peer support they need to learn to eat healthier foods, exercise in a way that fits into their daily routines, and better follow their doctors’ instructions. These community health workers truly understand the challenges facing Latino patients and are able to share information in a way that is culturally and linguistically appropriate,” said A. Manuela McDonough, Associate Director, Institute for Hispanic Health, NCLR.

Together with legacy data from the global studies, the Peers for Progress and NCLR guides strongly illustrate the crucial role peer support programming plays in closing gaps in healthcare.

Copies of the guides may also be ordered by contacting or


About Peers for Progress
A program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, Peers for Progress is dedicated to promoting peer support in health, health care and prevention around the world. Through research, collaborative sharing of program and quality improvement resources, and supporting advocacy, it seeks to help the thousands of peer support programs around the world learn from each other, improve the services they offer, gain greater recognition of their work, and achieve integration of peer support as a normal, widely available component of high-quality health care. Peers for Progress is supported by grants from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation’s Together on Diabetes Initiative. For more information on Peers for Progress, visit, or follow us on Twitter at @peers4progress.

About the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
The Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Its primary mission is to advance the values of family medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational, and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people.

For more information, please visit

About the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit, or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.


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