Peer Health Advocates (PHAs) constitute a grassroots level of lay health workers who undergo specialized training with emphasis on community education and outreach. Recruitment of PHA trainees takes place in communities in southeastern Louisiana, the coastal counties of Mississippi and Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. PHAs typically serve as volunteers in their communities.
Training curriculum for Peer Health Advocate includes an introductory overview and six core modules:
• Educational outreach to promote health literacy and encourage healthy lifestyles;
• Identifying and publicizing health-related resources;
• Peer Listening, a practical approach to informal counseling;
• Basic understanding of chronic diseases;
• Issues of emergency preparedness, resiliency, and recovery;
• Public Health: definitions, barriers, disparities, determinants.