Community Health Workers and Congregations Team Up to Fight Diabetes
At the church where Emma Torres worshipped, 60% of her fellow congregants were identified as being at high risk for developing diabetes. She underwent training to become a community health worker (CHW) and deliver a diabetes prevention and self-management program at her church. Emma and other CHWs across the State are now teaching congregations how to make lifestyle changes to eat healthier, exercise more, and manage stress in order to improve their health and prevent diabetes and its complications.
Through a partnership with NYSHealth grantee The Institute for Leadership, the Faith Fights Diabetes initiative has helped congregations across the State launch diabetes prevention and management programs. Volunteers are trained as CHWs to teach a six-week diabetes detection and prevention program at their place of worship. Class topics include risk factors, nutrition, fitness activities, and other healthy lifestyle choices. At the end of the program, participants are encouraged to take these lessons back to their families and communities and to start their own support groups.
This video on the Faith Fights Diabetes initiative shares the stories and experiences of Emma and other CHWs and participants from across the State.