At Christiana Care, we understand the importance of involving our community and partnering with the neighbors we serve to help steer the direction and execution of our research efforts. Community engagement is an integral component in several of our projects. In some of our largest and most ambitious projects, the community is not only a key component – it is our fulcrum. Community members play a vital, active role in many Christiana Care patient-centered, population-health initiatives.
Community-Based Blood Pressure Ambassador Program
The Value Institute provides research support for Christiana Care’s innovative Blood Pressure Ambassador Program, a community outreach effort designed to address high rates of hypertension within the local African-American community.
The program, which has reached more than 2,000 residents since its inception in 2011, recruits and trains people to work as ambassadors within their communities, taking blood pressure readings, educating people about hypertension and encouraging regular follow-up with a primary care physician. Sixty-two percent were African American, and of those more than one-third were hypertensive, but a significant number were not taking medication for the condition.
The Value Institute now is studying ways to further engage the Blood Pressure Ambassadors to enhance program sustainability, improve community access to health care and connect the impact of the program to participants’ clinical results.
Food Insecurity occurs in 12.7% of the U.S. population with higher prevalence among racial minorities, low income households, and individuals with chronic disease. A 2-item screening tool derived from the USDA Household Food Insecurity Scale (HFSS) has been validated among parents of pediatric patients. However, this screen has been used widely without validation in adult general medicine patients. We aim to validate this 2-item screen in Christiana Care Health System adult general medicine outpatients. By understanding the burden of food insecurity in our community, we can better provide services to address this social determinant of health.