Online Program

Utilizing Volunteer & Paid Community Health Workers to Prevent Diabetes in Rural Maine

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Ronald D. Deprez, PhD MPH, College of Health Professions, University of new England, Portland, ME
Julian Kuffler, MD, MDI Hospital, Bar Harbor, ME
Hank Stabler, MPH, School of Community & Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
Kira Rodriguez, MHS, School of Community & Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
Cyndi O'Brien, RN, BSN, OCN, MDI Hospital, Southwest Harbor, ME
Rebecca Boulos, PhD, MPH, School of Community and Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
The Downeast Community Health Regional Partnership (DCHRP)—consisting of community organizations, primary care providers, hospitals, an academic institute, and community members—sought to prevent the onset of diabetes in rural Maine using community health workers (CHWs) trained in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) curriculum. CHWs were either lay volunteers or employed ancillary providers. The NDPP is 16-session evidence-based lifestyle change program for preventing type 2 diabetes.  CHWs either led or co-led each NDPP group of community members diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  To date, 12 groups have been conducted across 2 rural counties. 

Program evaluation utilized several data elements: patient biometric data including BMI, LDL and A1C levels at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months; before/after qualitative information collected from the NDPP program participants on health goals, and available support for lifestyle changes; and information from participants at each session, including weight and minutes of physical activity. 

Participants completing the program had an average body weight loss of 8.4%. Using paired t-tests, mean changes in BMI at 6 and 12-months were significant (p=0.05). 12-month results show that island residents (N=45) had significant reductions in LDL cholesterol (p=0.04) and weight (p<.02) compared to mainland residents. Mainland residents had greater reductions in A1C values (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Rural Maine residents participating in the NDPP show differences in biologic markers associated with type 2 diabetes. Dr. Ronald Deprez, PI and member of the DCHRP will discuss factors attributable to the variations in findings such as social support; the challenges/benefits of utilizing lay volunteer CHWs; and, issues in program sustainability.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the benefits and challenges of using both volunteer and paid community health workers in the delivery of diabetes prevention curriculum

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Chronic Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have spent 30 years in chonic disease prevention and managment research, particularly in low resource regions of the US and abroad (Africa). Diabete prevention and managment have been a focus area in several evalauation studies and in health services research. I have been a PI on numerous community population assessments where diabetes prevention and care are prioity issues and part of my work is to assist communites in planning programs to address these issues.
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.