Hidalgo Medical Services – Family Support Program
- Need: To reduce health disparities in two rural/frontier counties in southwest New Mexico.
- Intervention: Community health workers work with clients to help them better manage their health and promote awareness of healthy lifestyle options in the community.
- Results: Better health outcomes for patients.
Effective (About evidence-level criteria)
LA VIDA (Lifestyle and Values Impacting Diabetes Awareness) is a community-based chronic disease intervention program using community health workers (CHWs) to help those who have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes. Historically, the program was offered by Hidalgo Medical Services as part of its broader Family Support Services, aimed at reducing health disparities and improving the health status of residents in Grant and Hidalgo counties in southwest New Mexico.
The development of LA VIDA was funded by a REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, LA VIDA is not being offered on a large, community-wide scale. Its principles now are used by Provider-Integrated Care Team Coordinators (community health workers). This staff provides education and support to patients in need of prediabetes or diabetes education as identified by the care team.
Family Support staff members receive on-the-job training, including shadowing experienced staff. They also attend training workshops such as diabetes education classes and classes covering topics such as cultural competence, motivational interviewing, and customer service.
To help support people with chronic diseases and meet community needs, LA VIDA and its CHWs offer:
- Information and support for healthy eating
- One-on-one diabetes education
- Assistance accessing health and social services
- Outreach to other organizations about Family Support Services
- Enrollment services for free or low-cost insurance programs
Hidalgo Medical Services has no results available on the current approach with the Provider-Integrated Care Team Coordinators. The results below reflect the full-scale implementation of LA VIDA:
- LA VIDA participants with diabetes increased the number of days they checked their feet and took their diabetes medications. They also lowered their glycated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c).
- LA VIDA participants overcame cultural barriers to diabetes control and showed empowerment and self-efficacy related to managing their diabetes.
- La VIDA's CHWs serve approximately one-fourth of the area’s population each year. In 2010, CHWs provided 58,000 services to 5,700 clients.
- CHWs distributed food to more than 300 families in rural communities.
- The program helped change policies to reduce the number of vending machines in area schools, in partnership with other community organizations.
- La Vida partnered with the Grant County Health Council to create a local Food Policy Council.
- 34% of Grant and Hidalgo county restaurants participate in the Viva New Mexico Restaurant Program by offering healthy menu options to the community.
For more information about program results:
McCloskey, J., Tollestrup, K., & Sanders, M. (2011). A Community Integration Approach to Social Determinants of Health in New Mexico. Family and Community Health, 34(Suppl 1), S79-91. Article Abstract
McCloskey, J. & Flenniken, D. (2010). Overcoming Cultural Barriers to Diabetes Control: A Qualitative Study of Southwestern New Mexico Hispanics. Journal of Cultural Diversity,17(3),110-5. Article Abstract
McCloskey, J. (2009). Promotores as Partners in a Community-Based Diabetes Intervention Program Targeting Hispanics. Family and Community Health, 32(1),48-57. Article Abstract
Sustainable funding is a barrier to continuing any large-scale initiative.
The key to LA VIDA's initial success was strong community collaborations and a steady funding stream. Currently, Hidalgo Medical Services is utilizing components/principles of LA VIDA in the work of Provider-Integrated Care Team Coordinators.
Edith Lee, Family Support Director
Hidalgo Medical Services
Community health workers
Food security and nutrition
Hispanics and Latinos
U.S.-Mexico Border Region
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention
November 25, 2013
June 7, 2017
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.