The Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) Office of Health Promotion is providing funding to one public or private not-for-profit entity for the purpose of implementing process and system changes regarding the use of community health workers (CHWs) to identify and assist in the management of obesity in cancer survivors. The program is entitled “Cancer Survivorship Lifestyle Change Program.”
CHWs are trained frontline health workers who serve as a bridge between communities and healthcare systems. They are from, or have a close understanding of, the community in which they serve. They often receive on-the-job training. The granted organization may work with existing CHWs or hire CHWs to act in this role. CHWs may work alone or as part of an intervention team that includes other healthcare professionals.
The granted organization will use CHWs to identify cancer survivors (who are not currently in active treatment) who are overweight or obese, screen them for readiness to change, and refer and/or deliver recognized lifestyle change and/or disease self-management programs to them that have been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control. Programs can be offered in individual or group settings via multiple modalities (i.e. in person, telephone, and/or online forums).