Community health workers (CHWs) provide vital support to underserved communities in the promotion of health equity by addressing barriers related to the social determinants of health that often prevent people living with diabetes from achieving optimal health outcomes. Peer support programs in diabetes can also offer people living with diabetes invaluable support through a shared understanding of the disease and by offsetting diabetes-related stigma. As part of a Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Diabetes program, participating federally qualified healthcare centers were provided diabetes support coaches (DSCs) to facilitate patient engagement. DSCs hold invaluable expert knowledge, as they live with diabetes themselves and reside in areas they serve, thus combining the CHW role with peer support models. The use of DSCs and CHWs during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and beyond is highly effective at reaching underserved communities with diabetes and promoting health equity.
Using Peer Power to Reduce Health Disparities: Implementation of a Diabetes Support Coach Program in Federally Qualified Health Centers
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Ashby F. Walker, Ananta Addala, Eleni Sheehan, Rayhan Lal, Michael Haller, Nicholas Cuttriss, Stephanie Filipp, Linda Baer, Matthew Gurka, Angelina Bernier, Lauren Figg, Sarah Westen, Korey Hood, Claudia Anez-Zabala, Eliana Frank, Xanadu Roque, Jennifer Maizel, David Maahs; Using Peer Power to Reduce Health Disparities: Implementation of a Diabetes Support Coach Program in Federally Qualified Health Centers. Diabetes Spectr 1 August 2022; 35 (3): 295–303. https://doi.org/10.2337/dsi22-0004
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