Women Connecting in the Community Program
United Neighborhood Health Services, a private, nonprofit network of primary care clinics in Nashville, offers comprehensive health care services in low-income neighborhoods in Nashville. The Women Connecting in the Community Program sought to increase African-American women’s diabetes self-management goals by increasing physical activities. A fitness coach developed individual physical activity programs for participants as well as group activities in the community and provided in-home consultations. There was a statistically significant improvement in HbA1c levels among high risk participants.
- Meeting program participants where they are (i.e., within their homes and neighborhoods) is important for minimizing barriers to engaging in physical activity and reaching vulnerable women, especially in low-resource areas.
- A multi-disciplinary health care team, including a health care provider, diabetes case manager/health educator, fitness coordinator, behavior health counselor, and other team members, that can address the multi-faceted issues of diabetes management is a promising approach to helping women successfully manage their diabetes.
Building bridges between the medical and non-medical resources in the community was an important aspect of the project that enabled UNHS to successfully motivate, support, and encourage participants’ efforts to manage their diabetes.