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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Successful integration of community health workers into the health care team: From skepticism to becoming a valued team member

Eileen Crowley1, Kenneth S. Babamoto, PharmD, MPH1, Lourdes Rangel2, Carlos N. Casas-Zaragosa, MD3, Vicki J Karlan, MPH4, Miguel Treviño3, Angela J Camilleri1, and Julia D Portale, MPH, MBA1. (1) Community Health, Pfizer Health Solutions, 235 East 42nd Street (150/37/5), New York, NY 10017, 212-573-7012, eileen.crowley@pfizer.com, (2) Gateway Community Health Center, 2309 Saunders, Laredo, TX 78044, (3) Gateway Community Health Centers, Inc., 2309 Saunders, Laredo, TX 78044, (4) Outcomes and Analytics, Pfizer Health Solutions, 2400 Broadway, Suite 500, Santa Monica, CA 90404

The prevalence of diabetes among adults in the U.S. continues to increase at an alarming rate and is estimated to increase 165% by year 2050. Hispanics are disproportionately affected, having the highest risk among all racial groups for developing diabetes during their lifetime.

Irrespective of ethnicity or race, integrating medical management with diabetes self-management is an effective treatment approach to improve glycemic control and potentially reduce long-term complications. However, self-management training is time consuming and lacks coordination of care. In the South Texas-Mexico Border region, the predominately Hispanic population faces significant challenges such as high prevalence rates of diabetes, undiagnosed depression and anxiety, and severe shortage of healthcare professionals that limits effective comprehensive care.

To address the healthcare professional shortage and evaluate an integrated medical care/self-management program, Gateway Community Health Center in Laredo, TX and Pfizer Health Solutions implemented Amigos en Salud, a randomized, controlled clinic-based diabetes self-management model of care using trained community health workers (CHWs), or promotores, working as members of the healthcare team. CHWs conduct weekly diabetes classes using a literacy-appropriate, culturally-relevant curriculum, oversee support groups, provide individual depression management, offer referrals to community resources, document assessments, identify issues for physician follow-up and regularly meet with clinic staff. 540 participants will be enrolled in this two-year study. Preliminary results noted improvement in self-monitoring skills (blood glucose, checking feet), behavioral change (healthy eating, physical activity) and improved continuity of care between physician visits. Program methods, clinical results, and process of soliciting support from clinic staff will be provided.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Health Care Delivery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Employment

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Disparities and Diabetes

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA