The Idaho Partnership for Hispanic Health is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The project’s main objective is to decrease the risk of health disparities experienced by Hispanics in Southwest Idaho. Through community-based participatory research (CBPR), the project has researched interventions to prevent, better care for, and better understand a specific disease focus identified by Idaho Hispanics. Closing the gap of health inequalities requires enhanced efforts at preventing disease, promoting health, and delivering appropriate care using innovative ways of working such as engaging in partnership with health care systems, community-based organization, and affected communities.
Compañeros en Salud (CeS) or Partners in Health was an intervention tested by the IPHH. CeS is an educational wellness program targeted at Hispanic families in Weiser and Mountain Home, Idaho. The focus of this program is on improving nutrition and physical activity to help reduce the incidence of metabolic syndrome in Hispanics and improve overall health. Compañeros en Saludoffers information on healthy lifestyles, health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, obesity), healthy food choices, and the importance of physical activity through 8 weekly group sessions and individual home visits. The curriculum used for Compañeros en Salud can be found on our website at: http://www.IDPHH.org.
Participants complete two behavioral assessments focused on eating and physical activity both prior to and after completing the program. In addition, measurements such as height, weight, blood pressure, waist and hip circumference, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, and A1C are taken both pre and post along with meeting with a clinician to review each participant’s health status. This data is used to evaluate whether the program has any impact on participant’s health.
Outcomes to date have been extremely positive. Statistically significant health improvements have been documented from pre to post program participation. We also complete annual follow-ups with previous participants to see if the health improvements have been sustained over time. We are pleased to report that a majority of health improvements have been sustained over a year. Strategies to continue to engage participants and support healthy lifestyles are being implemented in both communities.