243677 Community health worker training & health education in a New Orleans public-turned- mixed-income housing community

Monday, October 31, 2011

Liljana Johnson, MPH , Institute, National Network of Public Health Institutes, New Orleans, LA
Public housing residents participated in a program placing them as central leaders to take control of their own health and that of their community. Urban Strategies, a contractor for the Housing Authority of New Orleans implemented a preventive, culturally relevant heart health program in a community transitioning from public to mixed income housing. The program was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Community members participated in 16 classes over eight weeks on health education programs at the community center between May 2009 and July 2010, graduating 10 participants in the two eight-week programs held. Through interactive heart health education, the program provided a stable, safe space for residents to learn how to support each other to achieve better heart health outcomes. The main focus of the program was to discuss and demonstrate simple, culturally appropriate ways to prevent heart disease by reducing risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, poor nutrition and low physical activity. Pre and post questionnaires were administered to participants to evaluate the program's effectiveness in changing knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Participants self-reported improvements in engaging in positive health behaviors and motivation to teach others. Heart health knowledge increased by 9% and 40% went on to become Community Health Workers to conduct heart health activities within their community. This information is valuable to inform implementation of other health education programs. Lessons learned will increase program effectiveness and reduce challenges in implementing risk reduction and prevention interventions within a low income community setting.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
To explain the Community Health Worker Training Program addressing cardiovascular disease in a culturally relevant and interactive way To describe learning methods and approaches for affecting lifestyle changes for program participants with low income and low education To identify tips for successful implementation and evaluation of a Community Health Worker Training Program To discuss the post-program results of using a community health worker model to provide education for the community

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Interactive Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversaw all program aspects with the program I am submitting to present on.
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.