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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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My Brother’s Keeper (MBK)

Ridgeland, MS, 39157

Project: The Community REACH: Insurance, Education, and Enrollment Initiative (Community REACH Initiative)

Amount: $250,000

Project Abstract

A 2013 statewide health assessment ascertained that 75.6 percent of the respondents in MS were without healthcare coverage, and African Americans reported rates nearly twice that of Caucasians. Many of these individuals earn too much to enroll in Medicaid, but too little to qualify for government subsidies that would reduce their cost of buying private health insurance. In response to the situation, My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) proposed the Community REACH Initiative to educate uninsured and underinsured African Americans in the Jackson, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and surrounding counties–particularly those who are unemployed or have lost health care coverage due to loss of their employment–about the Health Insurance Marketplace, enroll individuals in the Marketplace, and increase their healthcare coverage.

The Community REACH Initiative has a two-pronged approach: 1) improving health equity; and 2) increasing access to care for the target population in the geographically designated areas. A series of comprehensive and systematic trainings will aim to enhance the capacity of community health workers (CHWs) and patient navigators (PNs) to conduct outreach and educational activities for uninsured and underinsured African Americans in the Jackson MSA.  The grantee plans to create a network of trained CHWs and PNs that will have the knowledge and skills to educate community members and patients on: (1) how the ACA works; (2) completing the streamlined application for eligibility; and (3) finding coverage that meets their needs. The CHWs and PNs will disseminate ACA materials and information within their community networks. MBK will develop the training curricula and provide capacity building assistance to community and faith-based organizations, health departments, and other organizations nationwide. The CHWs will work with project staff to develop strategies for community education and outreach activities and will serve as a liaison between the community and the ACA enrollment representatives. CHWs and PNs will identify members of the target population who are uninsured or underinsured, provide information on the ACA, and facilitate enrollment into health coverage.

Expected outcomes of the activities are to: (1) increase knowledge on the ACA to 80% above the baseline among minority populations that participate in the Community REACH Initiative; and (2) increase awareness of the ACA and the Health Insurance Marketplace to 60% above the baseline.

The evaluation design is a mixed-methods approach, including both quantitative and qualitative assessments that will inform the formative, process, and outcome/summative results of the project. The plan will also utilize a cyclical continuous improvement model to monitor activity implementation and ongoing program improvement, and to inform any midcourse corrections. The number of individuals assisted with enrollment and the number enrolled will be tracked by intake forms at education sessions and other Community REACH Initiative enrollment events. Trainings on ACA and enrollment will be measured using pre- and post-test assessments to assess change in knowledge.  

Process measures include the following:

    • Number and proportion of CHWs enrolled in each training session;
    • Number and proportion of PNs enrolled in each training session;
    • Extent to which clients were identified for the CHWs;
    • Extent to which uninsured clients were identified for the PNs;
    • Extent to which the intervention conducted outreach to underserved and uninsured residents in Jackson MSA; and
    • Extent to which the marketing materials disseminated throughout the underserved and uninsured residents in Jackson MSA.

Outcome measures include:

    • Increased knowledge in the minority target population regarding ACA education and enrollment increased after the training as measured by pre-and-post assessment;
    • Increased education of the underserved and uninsured residents in Jackson MSA regarding ACA and enrollment; and
    • Increased ACA enrollment amongst underserved and uninsured residents in Jackson MSA.

Awareness: Increase awareness of the significance of health disparities, their impact on the nation, and the actions necessary to improve health outcomes for racial, ethnic, and underserved populations.
Leadership: Strengthen and broaden leadership for addressing health disparities at all levels.
Health System and Life Experience: Improve health and healthcare outcomes for racial, ethnic, and underserved populations.


AHS-1: Increase the proportion of persons with health insurance.
11/12/2015 6:16:00 PM