Training community health workers to reduce health disparities in Alabama's Black Belt: The Pine Apple Heart Disease and Stroke Project

Academic Article


  • African American women have significantly higher mortality rates from heart disease and stroke than White women despite advances in treatment and the management of risk factors. Community health workers (CHWs) serve important roles in culturally relevant programs to prevent disease and promote health. This article describes the Pine Apple Heart and Stroke Project's activities to (1) revise the Women's Wellness Sourcebook Module III: Heart and Stroke to be consistent with national guidelines on heart disease and stroke and to meet the needs of African American women living in rural southern communities; (2) train CHWs using the revised curriculum; and (3) evaluate the training program. Revisions of the curriculum were based on recommendations by an expert advisory panel, the staff of a rural health clinic, and feedback from CHWs during training. Questionnaires after training revealed positive changes in CHWs' knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and self-reported risk reduction behaviors related to heart disease, stroke, cancer, and patient-provider communication. This study provides a CHW training curriculum that may be useful to others in establishing heart disease and stroke programs in rural underserved communities. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kuhajda MC; Cornell CE; Brownstein JN; Littleton MA; Stalker VG; Bittner VA; Lewis CE; Raczynski JM
  • Start Page

  • 89
  • End Page

  • 102
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 2