Online Program

Improving access to online health education resources for older adults in underserved communities in Boston area

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:42 p.m.

Ming Sun, MPH, MCHES, MGH Community Health Associates/MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, Massachusetts General Hospital, Revere, MA
In light of the growing numbers of older adults in urban underserved communities and their increasing health concerns, the Community HealthCare Centers operated by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston area are pressed to come up with innovative strategies to meet the health education needs of older adults. We recognize that older adults are a particularly vulnerable population group whose wellbeing has a large impact on the overall health status of the community. National reports have found that older adults are among the fastest growing populations learning to go online. To turn this national trend into an opportunity for providing health education services to older adults, Access to Resources for Community Health (ARCH) Program, established by MGH Community Health Associates (CHA) in 2000, partnered with MGH Treadwell Library and local senior centers to implement ARCH Health Education Outreach Projects. These projects enabled the senior centers to upgrade their computer equipment and to collaborate with ARCH staff to provide health education services to older adults. These Outreach Projects have resulted in improved access among older adults to well-vetted online health education resources. This in turn has empowered them to become more informed health consumers with more knowledge and skills to help them manage health conditions and live a healthy life. Program evaluation reveals deep satisfaction for such health education services, improved health information seeking skills, as well as older adults' ability to reach out to their peers who also need health education resources for living a healthy life.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Define urban underserved communities with an aging population Discuss unique health education needs among older adults Design health education programs through information outreach to older adults Evaluate health education programs for older adults

Keyword(s): Health Education, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have I have been Health Educator/Program Manager working for Massachusetts General Hospital/Community Health Associates for more than 12 years. One of my health education programs targets older adults in our urban underserved communities in partnership with the National Library of Medicine/New England Region, our hospital’s medical library, and community-based agencies. The program demonstrates unique strategies that link older adults to health education resources online.
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.