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1.  Lessons Learned From a Collaborative to Improve Care for Patients With Diabetes in 17 Community Health Centers, Massachusetts, 2006 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2010;7(4):A83.
In 2006, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers convened a collaborative to systematically improve health care delivery for patients with diabetes in 17 community health centers. Our goal was to identify facilitators of and barriers to success reported by teams that participated in this collaborative.
The collaborative's activities lasted 13 months. At their conclusion, we interviewed participating team members. We asked about their teams' successes, challenges, and take-home messages for future collaborative efforts. We organized their responses into common themes by using the Chronic Care Model as a framework.
Themes that emerged as facilitators of success included shifting clinic focus to more actively involve patients and to promote their self-management; improving the understanding and implementation of professional guidelines; and expanding staff roles to accommodate these goals. Patient registries were perceived as beneficial but lacking adequate technical support. Other barriers were staffing and time constraints.
Cooperative efforts to improve health care delivery for people with diabetes may benefit from educating the health care team about guidelines, establishing a stronger role for the patient as part of the health care team, and providing adequate technical instruction and support for the use of clinical databases.
PMCID: PMC2901581  PMID: 20550841
2.  Addressing Stroke Signs and Symptoms Through Public Education: The Stroke Heroes Act FAST Campaign 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2008;5(2):A49.
In 2003, only 18% of Massachusetts adults were aware of all signs and symptoms of stroke, but 80% would call 9-1-1 if they thought someone was having a stroke or heart attack. Because early recognition leads to early treatment and improved clinical outcomes, increasing symptom recognition could have an impact on stroke survival and stroke patients' quality of life.
We conducted secondary research to identify messages with evidence-based effectiveness for communicating stroke signs and symptoms. From these results, a Stroke Heroes Act FAST animation was created and concept-tested. Non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women aged 40 to 64 years received education on stroke signs and symptoms. Knowledge change about stroke signs and symptoms was calculated immediately following and 3 months after the education session.
Using Stroke Heroes Act FAST educational materials that were developed, 72 women (mean age, 54 years; 15.5% were non-Hispanic blacks) received education about signs and symptoms of stroke and took the pretests and posttests to assess knowledge change. Immediately after the education session, significant increases were seen in the percentage of participants who recognized that facial droop (92% vs 99%, P = .02) and arm weakness or numbness (86% vs 97%, P = .004) were symptoms of stroke. Of the 65 participants who were given the 3-month follow-up survey, 100% remembered slurred speech and facial drooping as symptoms; 98.5% recalled arm weakness or numbness; and 97% would call 9-1-1 if they thought someone was having a stroke. None of these is a significant change from the posttest.
The Stroke Heroes Act FAST kit may be a useful tool for improving knowledge of stroke signs and symptoms among adults.
PMCID: PMC2396980  PMID: 18341784

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