Learning Lessons from Africa: Peer Health Educators

Interesting segment today on NPR: Morning Edition regarding a program in New York City looking to address chronic diseases (ie HIV, diabetes, heart disease) in a low-income community called “City Health Works”. Adopted from a model started in South Africa, this program hires people from the community as “peer health educators” who follow up with patients after they’re seen at clinic and make sure they are taking their medications or answer any other questions. These peer health educators aren’t medical professionals (ie nurses, physicians, PA’s, NP’s) but members of the community who want to help. They are considered “health coaches” and are able to visit these patients with chronic diseases and listen to them that may not be possible in a 15 minute office visit. With closer follow up of these patients, the program is hoping to see an effect on inpatient admissions/readmissions and improved compliance.

Check out the link below to read the article or listen to the segment: