241416 Advocating for preconception health through the use of peer educators

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kimberlee Wyche Etheridge, MD, MPH , Family Youth and Infant Health, Metro Nashville Public Helath Department, Nashville, TN
Piia Hanson, MSPH , Women and Infant Health, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Washington, DC
In 2008 The Federal Office of Minority Health initiated the "A Healthy Baby Begins with You" campaign. Phase 2 involved training students of color to advocate for health among their peers and their communities. Tennessee has 5 Historically Black institutes of higher education, offering a unique opportunity to pilot this program simultaneously across the state. A total of 20 students, 4 from each campus were trained and certified as a Preconception Health Peer Educator. Trained PPE's functioned on 3 levels: Level 1: One on one peer education with dorm mates, friends, and others on campus. Level 2: Four required campus wide and community events. These events included a Midnight Spa, a Community Barbershop, a 1st Birthday Party and a Community Baby Shower. Level 3: Monthly webinars. These educational and networking sessions were open to PPE's across the country and offered an opportunity to hear from national experts as well as cross talk with other students engaged in similar work. Last year, the students provided education and intervention for over 1500 women and men. The most impressive of their results were: 100% of individuals surveyed learned health tips that they did not know previously. 100% were able to identify at least one healthy behavior that they could commit to, and the majority felt empowered to have more control over their health. This state wide pilot shows the great potential of programs that engage students as peer educators, especially when targeting communities of color.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the successful use of college students as peer educators to improve preconception health in African American Communities

Keywords: College Students, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health physician with over 10 years of experience working with volnurable populations
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.