American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation/Peers for Progress

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American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation/Peers for Progress

Location: Chicago, IL

Peers for Progress, associated with the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFPF) during this project, partnered with the Alivio Medical Center to provide peer support to low income, disadvantaged adults in Chicago, Illinois. The Alivio Medical Center implemented the Mi Salud Es Primero (My Health Comes First) program, which linked 3,800 low-income Latino adults living with type 2 diabetes to promotores, or bilingual Community Health Workers (CHW) who were fluent in Spanish and English. Peer support was administered according to the following Four Key Functions identified by Peers for Progress: 1) assistance in daily management of diabetes; 2) social and emotional support; 3) linkages to clinical care and community resources; and 4) ongoing support. Clinical outcomes for this study included HbA1C levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight.


As part of Peers for Progress, the Alivio Medical Center adopted a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model in order to meet their goal of providing high quality care tailored to reach and engage low-income Latino adults. The adoption of this model allowed for culturally-sensitive care that aimed to make patients’ diabetes self-management more personalized and coordinated.


Alivio Medical Center provided standard of care services to the majority of patients, as well as an intensive intervention to a subset of 471 “high-need” patients. Patients received intervention services based on their individual needs. Intervention components included but were not limited to two hour weekly group Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) courses for four weeks, one-on-one DSME and follow-up as needed, a free glucometer, ongoing peer support, and linkages to community resources (e.g., legal and educational resources, food banks, economic resources, and childcare).


Key learnings from this project include:

  • Peer support can be integrated into clinical care and clinical teams
  • Multiple strategies led to the success of this model
  • The use of electronic medical records is key to successful integration of peer support
  • Establishing trust between providers and peer supporters is necessary to successfully implement this model