Frontline Innovation: Volunteer Health Representatives (AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange)

Memphis Healthy Churches allows
the volunteers and the pastors to reach their
congregations in the community. The volunteers are trained to
screen for symptoms related to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular
disease, HIV/AIDS, and obesity. One of our volunteer health
representatives was approached by one of the
members of the church. He said to her, “I’m not sleeping
well, I’m getting thirsty at night, and I’m having to get up and
go to the restroom a lot.” But she said to him, “It sounds
like you need to see your doctor.” And he did, the next day. And he called and let her know
that his blood sugar was 400. “My doctor said if I had not
come when I did I probably would have ended up in the hospital
and possibly not be here today. You actually saved my life.” And this person turned out
to be one of the pastors. And since then he has been a
champion for Memphis Healthy Churches, he supports
the health representative, he’s even had sermons on health. Having volunteers in the church
who are addressing health needs allows Memphis Healthy Churches
to be one of the premier programs to help people
learn more about healthcare and improve their life by
changing their health status. My name is Georgia Oliver and I
believe innovation is the way to reach those who are most
in need of healthcare.

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