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.
Evidence-levelEffective (About evidence-level criteria)
LA VIDA (Lifestyle and Values Impacting Diabetes Awareness) was 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. 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 addresses social determinants of health and provides education and support to patients in need of prediabetes/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 competency, motivational interviewing, and customer service.
To support people with chronic diseases and meet community needs, LA VIDA and its CHWs offered:
- Enrollment services for free or low-cost insurance programs
- Assistance accessing health and social services
- Information and support for healthy eating
- One-on-one diabetes education
The current CHW program offers the above services, but diabetes education is no longer one-on-one and the outreach to other organizations is now community outreach.
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 served 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.
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), 110-115. 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
The current CHW program has no direct results, but the CHWs have partnered with the University of New Mexico's Office of Community Health on their research studies related to CHW interventions and health outcomes.
Sustainable funding is a barrier to continuing any large-scale initiative.
Services provided by CHWs are non-reimbursable by managed care organizations that administer Medicaid in New Mexico.
The key to LA VIDA's initial success was strong community collaborations and a steady funding stream.
Contact InformationHidalgo Medical Services
Community health workers
Culture and cultural competency
Food security and nutrition
Hispanic or Latino
U.S.-Mexico Border Region
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention
November 25, 2013
Date updated or reviewed
June 21, 2019
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2019. Hidalgo Medical Services – Family Support Program [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/741 [Accessed 19 April 2021]
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.