Monday, November 10, 2008

Af-Am Health Initiative Update

The African American Health Initiative has gotten off to a good start, and we’re looking forward to what we can learn about the promise of using grassroots networks for sharing health information.

We have 25 project affiliates – undergraduates and a few graduate students – who collectively selected more than 50 recipients of friends, family, and neighbors whom they thought would benefit by receiving health related information over the course of the academic year.

For our first round, the project affiliates chose between postcards focusing on diabetes, stroke, and prostrate cancer. We prepared and sent the selected postcards, and the affiliates have now begun making follow-up calls to the recipients. So far so good.

Many of our affiliates chose the diabetes postcard. (We posted the front of that postcard in an earlier post).

“I selected diabetes based on what I learned from nursing school: that 3.7 million of all African Americans age 20 years or older have diabetes,” said one of our affiliates.

After making a follow-up call to her recipients, another one of our affiliates observed that "The postcards definitely were effective in the sense that they made each family more aware of the symptoms and complications that result from diabetes.”

Our next round of cards will highlight sickle cell, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer.

We’ll keep you posted.

No comments: