The intervention that will be used for the problem of diabetes in the African American community is basically providing residents with the opportunity to purchase healthy foods at grocery stores within. This will happen by use of different participation of certain institutions, mainly grocery stores, hospitals and clinics. In this intervention, patients can be referred to the program where they can trade in certain amounts of money for a certain amount of “healthy money” or vouchers that can be used in designated grocery stores that will participate in the program. In these stores, only certain items will be able to be purchased with the money, which will of course be healthier for the at risk or already diabetic patients. (Maybe patients can rack up points at the cash register that they report back to their doctors)
To implement this intervention there would have to be cooperation of the hospitals, clinics and grocery stores that I plan to run the program in. For the beginning of the program there won’t be as many participant institutions until we have evaluated the program to ensure that it has been going as planned. I suppose I would have to approach the heads of the hospitals in order to see if they are on board with the program and if they have to then ask their superiors. In addition to this, grocery stores would need to be approached as well. It would have to be taken into consideration whether the grocery store is public or privately owned. In addition to this, producers of the foods that are planned to be put on the list would have to be approached as well.
Possible barriers, of course, include the fact that the stakeholders won’t agree to the plans. To overcome this, perhaps there could be incentives in place for the stakeholders so that they want to participate in the program. Also, there could be a barrier in exactly understanding how the regular currency will be traded in for representative money at grocery stores.
A good way to communicate the program to stakeholders is to hand out pamphlets to residents in the communities to be targeted. It would be beneficial to actually get people who are at risk or already have diabetes within those communities to pass them out because others would be more persuaded rather than have outsiders handing them out. Putting up posters in common, popular spots would be helpful as well. In Baltimore, there are a variety of faiths and religions, so perhaps it would be helpful to hold information sessions or place posters inside of churches for example. To get other stakeholders like grocery stores and hospitals on board, data about the program and how we see the benefits of the program on patients, might persuade them, especially since these places are within the communities where these residents live.
Evaluating the program is next. One way to do this is to record the number of program participants and whether they are actually purchasing items using the vouchers and which items. Also there can be a count of the amount of patients that were recommended to the program and those that actually decided to enroll. Some outcome measures that can be used are evaluating the patient’s attitude towards healthier food options and towards the program in general. There can also be a survey of patients and residents to see if they actually saw or heard about the program and that will show well the communication of the program’s existence is going. Also, doctors can track the patient’s health from the beginning of the program until a set amount of time enrolled in the program and see if the patient showed improvements over that time.