Peer Support As A Strategy For Reducing Disparities

Course Information

Amidst great concern about disparities in various aspects of health and health care, peer support is emerging as an effective strategy for reaching, engaging and benefiting the “hardly reached.”  Drawing on work in diabetes as well as other areas, this presentation will review the ways in which peer support seems to engage groups who are too often passed by in improvements in care and prevention, and the evidence for its success.

Original Release Date: April 5th, 2016

The Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Morehouse School of Medicine designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

  1. Describe factors related to continuing disparities in prevention and care.
  2. Describe characteristics of peer support that address these characteristics.
  3. Describe evidence for success of peer support in reaching, engaging and benefiting those too often hardly reached by prevention and care.

This course should take approximately 1 hour to complete.

Registrants participate in the learning process by answering interactive multiple choice questions that are dispersed throughout the presentation. You must complete the questions with a passing rate of 80% or better. If you score less than 80% you will be directed to launch the course to take the questions again. In order to earn credit, physicians must complete the entire educational activity before the termination date (see above). Non-physicians may register for the course but are not eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Instead, non-physicians will earn a certificate of participation after successfully completing the course before its termination date.

CME certificate will be available for printing immediately after scoring 80% or higher on course evaluation.


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Edwin B. Fisher, Ph.D.

Edwin B. Fisher, Ph.D., is Global Director of Peers for Progress, a program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation that is dedicated to promoting peer support in health, health care, and prevention around the world.  He is also Professor in the Department of Health Behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He received his Ph.D. in 1972 in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University.  For 33 years, he was on the faculty of Washington University where he directed the Division of Health Behavior Research in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics and served as associate director for prevention and control of the University’s NIH-funded Diabetes Research and Training Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center.

From 2002-2009, he served as National Program Director of the Diabetes Initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The Diabetes Initiative demonstrated the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost effectiveness of diabetes self management programs in real world settings such as Federally Qualified Health Centers and community based programs.

Having funded 14 grants to investigator teams in 9 countries on 6 continents and with over 60 collaborating groups, Peers for Progress is building the evidence base for peer support interventions, disseminating resources and guides for program development and quality improvement, and promoting networking among peer support programs to pursue integration of peer support in health care and preventive services around the world.

Dr. Fisher has published papers and review chapters in prevention, chronic disease management and quality of life.  In addition to his extensive work in diabetes, his research has addressed health challenges in asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, smoking and smoking cessation (including authoring several chapters in reports of the US Surgeon General), and weight management.  His approaches to these problems have included self management, social support, and community based health promotion, including studies of community based programs for underserved, minority groups.

Dr. Fisher is a past-president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and has served on numerous government advisory panels and the boards of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine and the American Lung Association.

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