Getting Started at the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium

My name is Seamus Taylor and I’m a recent graduate of the MPH in Policy program at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. This summer, I’m completing a field placement internship with the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC), a non-profit organization in Des Moines, Iowa, that works to improve the health and productivity of individuals dealing with chronic issues.

In the past, ICCC has conducted several studies examining the effectiveness of various intervention strategies on improving the health and well-being of persons with chronic issues. More recently, ICCC has developed a training program that works to help health care practitioners engage and activate patients in their care. This program, known as the Clinical Health Coach training program, has been shown to promote self-care skills, improve clinical outcomes and lower health care costs.

A clinical health coach training session.

Due to the success of this program, ICCC has recently been awarded a grant to develop a training program for Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Iowa. CHWs typically work as intermediaries within their own communities to connect community members to health and social services, and facilitate the delivery and cultural competence of these services. I’ll be spending my internship with ICCC assisting on various projects related to this CHW grant. Specifically, I will be creating a Health Equity training webinar, I will be developing various tracking tools for CHWs and their employers, and I will be assisting ICCC with implementing a CHW evaluation program.

My MPH coursework has proven invaluable to me throughout this internship. Specifically, the courses I’ve taken about health promotion and health equity have provided a strong framework that I can draw from as I develop my webinar. Further, the courses I’ve taken involving evaluation and statistics will help me work with ICCC on their evaluation program. Altogether, I feel very well prepared for my internship due to my MPH.

Next post I’ll provide a more in-depth update and talk more about building health equity into the CHW training. Til then!

Cheers,
Seamus

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