Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers Launches Lifestyle Coach Training to Prevent Diabetes

Staff from Pennsylvania health centers assembled for diabetes prevention training.The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers HRSA BPHC Exit Disclaimer (PACHC) spearheaded an effort to train Pennsylvania health center staff in diabetes prevention using lifestyle coach training.

PACHC hosted a two-day training using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifestyle change curriculum. This program helps people who are at higher risk of developing diabetes adopt changes designed to reduce risk through measures such as diet and fitness. Participants also learned about CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, which aims to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes substantially. Finally, participants were introduced to the Prevent Diabetes STAT toolkit HRSA BPHC Exit Disclaimer and educational materials designed specifically for health care professionals by the CDC and the American Medical Association (AMA).

PACHC recruited training participants by using the Uniform Data System (UDS) to identify health centers with higher rates of uncontrolled diabetes among their patients. Targeted emails were sent to health center CEOs, describing the training and asking them to identify potential attendees. Health center staff such as RNs, LPNs, and community health workers took part in the training program.

Following the training, continuing monthly webinars cover topics such as physician awareness and education regarding risk reduction programs, implementation strategies, and health center lessons learned. The AMA leads the webinars, which are recorded to enable busy staff members to view them later if needed. AMA technical assistance staff also follow up with each participating health center individually.

How to Implement

PACHC took the following actions to implement the training model:

  • Utilized HRSA funding to pay for the training; a managed care organization contributed money to cover participants’ travel costs.
  • Considered staff turnover, which is a consistent challenge at health centers. They recruited two staff from each participating health center to increase chances of having adequate staff in place for program launch.
  • Planned additional resources and monthly webinars to reinforce strategies that increase likelihood of success.
  • Requested that participating centers share data on patient participation and clinical metrics (such as weight loss) to help the PCA measure impact.
Date Last Reviewed:  November 2018

More Information

Health center's Uniform Data System (UDS) data

For more information about this promising practice, contact:
Serina Gaston
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Corporate Compliance