Dr. Tara Cortes speaks with NY1's Erin Billups about empowering volunteers to address gaps in health care for older adults through the Bronx Health Corps.
Created in 2016 as part of a HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant, and in partnership with NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, R.A.I.N., Inc., and Montefiore Health System, the Bronx Health Corps (BHC) volunteer peer education initiative was designed to increase health literacy and to provide ongoing self-management support for an older adult patient population in the Bronx. Additionally, through this education and support that is tailored specifically to older adults, individuals can learn to adopt behaviors that allow them to remain healthy at home for as long as possible.
The BHC consists of 50+ multi-generational volunteers from the Bronx who have been trained to teach older adults in the community on the following health topics: Healthy Living (exercise, nutrition, stress management and older adult sexuality), Asthma, Heart Health, and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.
As of the first quarter of 2018, the BHC volunteers have educated 1000+ seniors in the Bronx on these health topics. Participant satisfaction has been high; multiple class attendees have reported that they have taken a more positive approach to their health because of what they have learned from the program.