The Coalition seeks to improve minority chronic disease outcomes by establishing and expanding two promising practices within the 5-county region.
Community Health Worker Program
The Coalition found that the Mid-Shore lacks a coordinated system of care to educate and follow at-risk clients with diabetes once diagnosed in the office or upon emergency room discharge.
The Coalition is modeling promising practices that utilize Community Health Workers to address the social support needs of these individuals. In the spring of 2014, nine community members were trained in a comprehensive Community Health Worker curriculum by the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center, gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to be an asset to the traditional medical team.
The American Public Health Association defines a CHW as:
A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.
Chronic Disease Self-Management Classes are on the Mid-Shore!
The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a workshop given two and a half hours, once a week, for six weeks, in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries and hospitals. People with different chronic health problems attend together. Subjects covered include: 1) techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation, 2) appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance, 3) appropriate use of medications, 4) communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals, 5) nutrition, 6) decision making, and, 7) how to evaluate new treatments.Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with chronic diseases themselves.
To find out about the next Living WELL workshop in your area, call MAC, Inc. @ 410-742-0505 ext. 130 or click here.