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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
5188.0: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 3:06 PM

Abstract #111983

Volunteer Health Advisor diabetes support groups: Integrating a community-based strategy to improve health status with an evidence-based clinical improvement initiative

Lisa M. Montuori, RN, MSN, MPH1, R. Maude Guerrier1, M. Lourdes Georges1, Nadine Marsan1, Claire Pierre, MD, and Laureen Gray, RN, MSN3. (1) Department of Community Affairs, Cambridge Health Alliance, 230 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143, 617-591-6942, lmontuori@challiance.org, (2) Pursuing Perfection, Cambridge Health Alliance, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

A health system's ability to engage individuals in self-management is a key component of improving the health status of people with chronic disease. Health disparities exist, in part, because of the inability of providers to effectively reach patients from diverse populations. Cambridge Health Alliance, a Massachusetts academic public healthcare system, is working to better engage its diverse patient population, including many new immigrants, through the collaboration of its community-based Volunteer Health Advisor (VHA) Program in a clinical initiative to deliver evidence-based diabetes care (Chronic Care model). The VHA Program works with faith- and community-based organizations to improve community health by creating a volunteer workforce that provides culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and health education to underserved, hard-to-reach populations.

A subset of VHAs from the local Haitian, Latino, and Brazilian communities have been trained as Diabetes Specialists and are active in planning and conducting diabetes support groups in conjunction with clinical improvement initiatives. This presentation will give participants a look at how these support groups are planned, implemented, and evaluated and their effectiveness in working with clinical services. In addition, it will discuss the importance of including community-based approaches in evidence-based clinical efforts to improve the health status of diverse populations.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Chronic Diseases, Patient Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

The Community as Partner in Health Education

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA