Peer Health Advocates
After approximately 18 months of organizing bimonthly community events and in collaboration with a local publicly funded reproductive healthcare provider, the WHP initiated more frequent weekly outreach sessions at the local public housing complex to provide more opportunities for the healthcare organization to connect with community residents.
At the end of three months of outreach and building on the spontaneous involvement of residents who encouraged their friends and neighbors to connect with the outreach efforts, WHP added to its intervention activities a peer health advocate initiative.
In Year 3 of the WHP, seven adult women residents, who had displayed interest in WHP by attending community events and interacting with staff during outreach, were invited to participate in the peer group initiative.
The peers received 20 hours of initial training developed by the local reproductive healthcare provider on outreach techniques and reproductive health knowledge.
They continue to meet weekly with the WHP’s director and the community outreach associate for professional development and planning activities.
The peers have taken over the weekly outreach, assist with promoting and carrying out the community health education events, and are instrumental in implementing reproductive-health screening events (referred to as “ladies nights”).