Health Ambassadors: Essential Community Linkages to Promote Health Before, During and After Pregnancy
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Christiana Care Health System’s Health Ambassador Program is a concerted, community health intervention to improve maternal and child morbidity and mortality. The Delaware Division of Public Health identified high-risk zip codes in the Wilmington, Delaware, metro area which had the lowest maternal and child health indicators in the state. Based on this, Christiana Care developed this community-based intervention to promote health before, during and after pregnancy. The objective is to connect pregnant women and families to health care, social services and education. The program’s team consists of 5 community health workers, who conduct outreach within targeted zip codes. Their goal is to be integral in population health improvement, through a strong presence in the community and by building sustainable relationships with it. These Health Ambassadors directly refer community members to home visiting services. This is done by connecting with them one-on-one; by sending the referral to the home visiting agency; and following up with both that agency and the community member to ensure the process has been completed. The Health Ambassadors have partnered with other community health programs within Christiana Care’s Department of Family and Community Medicine to bridge the gap between the health care system and community resources. We will present a process for developing a program using health ambassadors for communities at risk for low maternal and child health indicators. Preliminary data shows Health Ambassadors’ grassroots outreach, direct connection and presence in the community increased access to health care, social services and education for pregnant women and families.
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Design programs to educate families, particularly at-risk mothers, and connect them to necessary assistance.
Identify peer leaders within the targeted zip codes to serve as Health Ambassadors.
Identify families who are in need of education and support during the perinatal period.
Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, Community Health Programs
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Sr. Program Manager of this program.
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.