Diabetes Care Coordination Program
African-American women who met diabetes self-management goals were trained as Diabetes Health Ambassadors to identify and refer women in their public housing projects to Whittier Street Health Center’s comprehensive diabetes care services. More than 900 women were connected to diabetes screening and 312 women were engaged in care at the clinic. For the women for whom pre and post assessment data were available, there were statistically significant improvements in average HbA1c, blood pressure and weight.
- Using culturally-competent Diabetes Health Ambassadors from public housing led to increased access to the public housing residents, increased visibility within the community, and built trust. Using this approach, more than 600 women were connected to diabetes screening and care.
- African-American women act as gatekeepers for health to their families and serving one woman means serving the whole family. Lifestyle changes made by participants may have had an impact on other family members living within the home. “It takes a village”, in this case a comprehensive, coordinated clinical team to provide the needed services for controlling diabetes.
- Diabetes Health Ambassadors gained new insights into the management of their own disease and adopted additional lifestyle changes that improved their personal health and well-being.