Preconception Peer Educators (PPE) Program
National Health Month 2013: Campus to Community Week
It's National Minority Health Month—and the time is now to advance health equity! The Office of Minority Health is working with Preconception Peer Educators around the country during National Minority Health Month to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities, and the health care law's groundbreaking policies to reduce these disparities and achieve health equity.
PPEs – please visit our National Minority Health Month page to:
- Get tools and resources for National Minority Health Month
- Add you events to the calendar
- Share your ideas for awareness events and initiatives during the month
- Post pictures and stories from your campus and community
- Take the conversation viral – message for social media is available.
Let's face it! Infant mortality rates among African American babies are twice as high as those of the general population. But many of the causes of infant mortality are preventable and a healthy baby begins with you.
The Office of Minority Health's A Healthy Baby Begins with You national campaign raises awareness about infant mortality with an emphasis on the African American community, as one of our efforts to end health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.
As a key part of this campaign, the Preconception Peer Educators (PPE) Program works with the college age population, enlisting college students who serve as peer educators on college campuses and in the community. They help disseminate essential preconception health messages that may seem too foreign for a population that may not be actively seeking to start a family. Because over 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned, it is imperative to provide all women, and in particular sexually active women and their partners, with information to make timely, informed decisions about their reproductive futures.
Goals of the Preconception Peer Educators (PPE) Training
- Reach the college-age population with targeted health messages emphasizing preconception health and healthcare.
- Train minority college students as peer educators.
- Arm the peer educators with materials, activities and exercises to train their peers in college and in the community at large.
Key Concepts for the Training
- Health disparities and minority health
- Infant mortality
- African American health status and its impact on infant mortality
- Preconception health, infant mortality and prematurity – What research says
- Preconception care
- HIV, STDs and preconception health
- What a man would do
Once trained in the preconception curriculum, the college students will receive a Certificate of Completion. OMH and its partners will link the students with Healthy Start Programs, State/City Health Departments, State OMHs and community based organizations for placement in summer internships, volunteer or paid work opportunities.
- Fisk University and Meharry Medical College – Nashville, Tenn.
- Spelman College, Atlanta
- Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
- University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA
- Trained over 1,500 Preconception Peer Educators at nearly 100 schools across the country
- Organized regional trainings in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Washington, DC, metro area, Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, California, Florida and Tennessee
- Conducted Higher Knowledge, Higher Service, the first College to Community Health Outreach Week, in Memphis, TN
- Our spokesperson Tonya Lewis-Lee produced a 30-minute documentary on infant mortality and efforts to raise awareness, Crisis in the Crib. Saving Our Nation's Babies, which is currently being used as a recruitment and awareness tool. To watch the documentary visit: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?lvl=2&lvlID=117&ID=8178