Bright Spot: DiaBEATit! Walking Group
Photo by sk on Unsplash
This bright spot was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
The 8-week DiaBEATit! Women's Walking Group was a weekly walking group for homeless and low-income women in the Skid Row Community of Los Angeles, CA. The group met each week at the Downtown Women's Center, a drop-in services center in the community. Besides providing a safe way to exercise, the walking group program exposed participants to local community resources for healthy food including farmer's markets and community gardens. An average of two community members were group facilitators each week, where they led walking group activities including food demonstrations, nutrition education, benefits enrollment, mindfulness and yoga exercises, community asset mapping, and a health resource fair.
The DiaBEATit walking group focused on creating a safe and supportive environment for homeless and low-income women to establish exercise goals, learn about diabetes and nutrition, and foster social support.
Partners donated various incentives, we utilized funds from existing grants in respective agencies|and everyone in the collaborative volunteered time to the walking group. Overall cost estimated as: $1,000.
Key Steps for Implementation
- Create action lab to-do list of steps including: preparation, action phase, and sustainability phase; determine monthly planning meetings for stakeholders to attend
- Engage community organizations and consumers to participate in planning meetings and/or the walking group program
- Create walking group curriculum tailored to community needs and capacity of stakeholders; includes safety trainings, consent forms, photo release forms, and educational materials
- Determine site locations, walking directions, and walking group leads for walking activity and class activity Obtain incentives (pedometers, shoes, hats, water bottles, bags, seeds and plants)
- Locate a place for women to store belongings safely while on the walk
- Determine logistics of meeting location, time and place of each walking activity; ensure that participants receive lunch at the drop-in center
- Measurement and evaluation: determine outcome metrics, data collection, and data reporting
- Deliver survey at the end of each class, on a weekly basis; data collection performed on a weekly basis for the 8-week period
- Develop and follow through on sustainability plan
This intervention was implemented in partnership with local organizations who work on chronic disease management and other non-traditional partners in Los Angeles (food access, public benefits, etc.). These included the following:
- CA Black Women's Health Project,
- Champions for Change,
- Cooking Laboratory,
- Downtown Women's Center,
- I Am Well-being Center,
- Wesley Health Center,
- Los Angeles Christian Health Center,
- Los Angeles community Action Network,
- Los Angeles Department of Public Health/Office of Women's Health,
- L.A. Care Health plan,
- Los Angeles County Department of Social Services,
- Los Angeles Food Policy Council,
- Partners in Care Foundation,
- United Homeless Healthcare Partners and
- The Village Health Foundation.
Required Staffing (FTEs)
The intervention takes roughly 5 hours/week of staff time while the group is being held. There is also time spent beforehand to prepare and gather incentives and volunteers for the group. There is also time spent afterwards gathering data and debriefing.
Monthly meeting of the collaborative members (listed above) provided the ability to plan for this intervention, divide the work among partners, find locations for the group to walk, gather incentives, and provide training and logistical information to volunteers.
Informal trainings included basics on nutrition, physical activity, diabetes 101, safety, and group facilitation.
Types of Staff
program specialist, interns, volunteers
Return on Investment Details
This will vary depending on organizational capacity in terms of volunteers, donations and staff support.
Assessed for demographic information, perceived safety, program satisfaction, and engagement methods, as well as program-specific health knowledge and behaviors, feedback, and recommendations.
Weekly attendance at the walking group