This week we would like to spotlight the Fit for the Masters Use module of ProjectPower and how it was implemented by a Houston-based program.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has created a year-round diabetes awareness program called ProjectPower, which is specifically designed for implementation in African American churches. In this program, the church can promote awareness messages and healthy family living by participating in one of the modules called Fit for the Masters Use (Physical Activity). In this module, participants learn the definitions of diabetes and pre-diabetes. This module increases awareness of why physical activity is important, introduces different forms of exercise, provides suggestions for getting started, discusses the recommended amounts of exercise for adults, and increases awareness of the healthcare provider’s role. According to Sherry Grover, her program tailored the module by offering some give-a-ways such as the ProjectPower pedometer and using line dancing, which has become increasingly popular in the African American community, as exercise.
Grover says that they measure program success through knowledge and program assessments. Knowledge is measured in the form of pre/post quantitative test. The questions are focused on information presented in the Fit for the Master’s Use module. Participants are asked to not include a name on questionnaires and consent for participation is constituted by completing the forms which are optional.
The program’s success is measured by the qualitative and quantitative measures. Qualitative measures are obtained by the Ambassador Evaluation. Ambassadors are church representative trained by the ADA to conduct the year-round modules. Questions measured address the presentation of the workshop and the materials used in the program.
Challenges faced in implementation include recruitment and funding. The pastors of the churches are asked to recommend ambassadors’ or representatives from the church that can recruit church member participation. Past participation has been low. Some of the reasons given include: time constraints and not wanting to know about a potential illness. “In addition,” Grover states, “funding for giveaways, materials and snacks is often a problem.”
Implementing a Similar Program in Your Community
Those interested in implementing similar programs can contact the ADA for market area, ambassador training and program materials. The ambassador training is normally conducted at the ADA offices but can be conducted at individual churches. After participants complete training, they are given ambassador materials for the program. They are also given timelines. The ADA will conduct follow-up on each participant’s progress.
How could you use this program in your community?