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Utilizing health ambassadors to improve type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease outcomes in Gadsden County, Florida


  • Suther, Sandra
  • Battle, Arrie M.
  • Battle-Jones, Felecia
  • Seaborn, Cynthia


Minority racial and ethnic groups are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. These groups also experience more severe complications from diabetes and have higher mortality rates as a result of the disease, such as cardiovascular disease, amputation and kidney failure. Underserved rural ethnically disparate populations benefit from health education outreach efforts that are conveyed and translated by specially-trained community health ambassadors. Project H.I.G.H. (Helping Individuals Get Healthy) was developed to target the priority areas of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Utilizing trained community health ambassadors, CDC's The Road to Health Toolkit as well as New Beginnings: A Discussion Guide for Living Well with Diabetes was used as a model for a community-based educational program. The overall goal of Project H.I.G.H was to implement and evaluate: (1) a coordinated, behavior-focused, family-centered, community-based educational program and; (2) a client service coordination effort resulting in improved health outcomes (BMI, Glucose Levels, BP) for individuals with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Gadsden County, Florida. Overall, Project H.I.G.H. was very successful in its first year at motivating participants to delay or prevent diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease or at the very least to start taking better care of their health.

Suggested Citation

  • Suther, Sandra & Battle, Arrie M. & Battle-Jones, Felecia & Seaborn, Cynthia, 2016. "Utilizing health ambassadors to improve type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease outcomes in Gadsden County, Florida," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 17-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:55:y:2016:i:c:p:17-26
    DOI: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.11.001

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