142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Using Community Health Workers to Increase Awareness about the Affordable Care Act in a Rural Community

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Whitney Garney, MPH , Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Katharine Nimmons, MSc, MPH , Center for Community Health Development - National CHW Training Center, TX A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Billie Castle , Center for Community Health Development, Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Alexandra Roach, BS , Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, College Station, TX
Britt Allen , Mustang Therapies, Madisonville, TX
Julie Ann St. John, MA, MPH, DrPH , Center for Community Health Development, School of Rural Public Health, TAMHSC, San Benito, TX
Angela Alaniz, BA , Center for Community Health Development, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Monica Wendel, Dr.P.H., M.A. , School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Background: The State of Texas has the highest rate (24%) of uninsured residents in the US. Rural communities in Texas are particularly at risk of being uninsured; in fact, in a recent health status assessment 25.7% of rural Madison County residents reported  not having health insurance of any kind. Of those who reported being uninsured, 85.5% said they could not afford insurance because it was too expensive. Due to this disparity, the Madison Health Resource Center collaborated with local health and social service providers to apply for funding from the Office of Rural Health Policy to increase awareness of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA). Currently, there are no certified application counselors in Madison County who can assist local residents in the ACA application process. Methods: To assist residents in enrolling in health insurance marketplaces, Madison County developed an ACA awareness campaign. They utilized two certified Community Health Workers and trained them as general educators to implement the campaign. Results: Since initiation in April 2013, general educators have conducted three health education events in the community, targeting low-income individuals. General educators partnered with local community organizations, churches, hospitals, social service providers, and emergency management personnel to plan and implement education activities. Over 43 individuals have participated in activities and 20 have been referred to additional resources to assist them in enrollment processes. In addition, more than 200 educational materials have been disseminated throughout the rural community. Overall, initial results of this project are positive and well-perceived within the community.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the geographic context of Madison County, Texas; Identify funding source for Affordable Care Act (ACA) awareness campaign; Describe the partnership approach to developing an ACA awareness campaign; Discuss how community health workers were trained as ACA general educators; and Explain strategies for increasing awareness about the ACA and necessary partners.

Keyword(s): Affordable Care Act, Rural Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am part of the network that developed the funding proposal and planning the intervention.
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.