Community Health and Prevention

Presentation Title (IN ALL CAPS)

Community Health Worker Training for Older Adults: Eliminating Health Disparities through Peer Models of Support

Presenter/Author(s) Information

Jennifer SeveFollow

Departmental Affiliation and City, State, Zip for All Authors

Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County, Inc. Fort Worth, Texas 76119

Classification

Other

Research Presentation Category

Community Health and Prevention

Brief Narrative or Summary

The Community Health Worker (CHW) model is a promising and cost-effective approach to reducing health disparities while meeting the growing demands of an aging and diverse population. The objective of this project is to develop a CHW training program for mature workers in community-based settings. This specialized training program has the potential to expand the pool of qualified CHWs, increase the financial stability of mature workers, and improve older adults’ access and participation in health promotion services.

Scientific Abstract

Community Health Worker Training for Older Adults: Eliminating Health Disparities through Peer Models of Support Jennifer J. Severance Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County, Inc., 1400 Circle Drive, Suite 300, Fort Worth, Texas 76119 The Community Health Worker (CHW) model is a promising and cost-effective approach to reducing health disparities while meeting the encroaching demands of an aging and diverse population, although a lack of both standardized training and sustainable funding impede expansion. By 2019, adults age 55 and older will comprise 25% of the workforce to significantly contribute to the economy while remaining active, independent and financially secure. Training older adults as CHWs provides peer-to-peer outreach in community-based settings and connects the community with health systems. The overall goals of this pilot study are to develop a CHW training program for mature workers and guide future program development for CHWs to improve health behaviors of older adults. The specific aims of the proposed research are: 1) To identify desirable CHW training elements for mature workers; 2) To understand use of health promotion services by older adults in community-based settings; and 3) To test the hypothesis that older adult use of health promotion services increases when provided by peers trained as CHWs. This research will be conducted by a community-based organization and academic partnership in Tarrant County, Texas. Research includes semi-structured interviews with social service, health, and workforce development professionals serving with older adults; and a focus group of older adults at a community setting. The resulting curriculum will be evaluated with pre- and post-tests of CHW trainees and participants during a 60-day period. Results will be used to develop a prototype CHW training program for future testing in community based settings. Keywords: health promotion, training, workforce development

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Community Health Worker Training for Older Adults: Eliminating Health Disparities through Peer Models of Support

Community Health Worker Training for Older Adults: Eliminating Health Disparities through Peer Models of Support Jennifer J. Severance Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County, Inc., 1400 Circle Drive, Suite 300, Fort Worth, Texas 76119 The Community Health Worker (CHW) model is a promising and cost-effective approach to reducing health disparities while meeting the encroaching demands of an aging and diverse population, although a lack of both standardized training and sustainable funding impede expansion. By 2019, adults age 55 and older will comprise 25% of the workforce to significantly contribute to the economy while remaining active, independent and financially secure. Training older adults as CHWs provides peer-to-peer outreach in community-based settings and connects the community with health systems. The overall goals of this pilot study are to develop a CHW training program for mature workers and guide future program development for CHWs to improve health behaviors of older adults. The specific aims of the proposed research are: 1) To identify desirable CHW training elements for mature workers; 2) To understand use of health promotion services by older adults in community-based settings; and 3) To test the hypothesis that older adult use of health promotion services increases when provided by peers trained as CHWs. This research will be conducted by a community-based organization and academic partnership in Tarrant County, Texas. Research includes semi-structured interviews with social service, health, and workforce development professionals serving with older adults; and a focus group of older adults at a community setting. The resulting curriculum will be evaluated with pre- and post-tests of CHW trainees and participants during a 60-day period. Results will be used to develop a prototype CHW training program for future testing in community based settings. Keywords: health promotion, training, workforce development