Promoting Health and Wellness through Community Engagement

SHIRE engages DC residents to “take charge of our health” and prevent and manage obesity and other chronic diseases. Our work includes projects to:

Increase physical activity in educational and child care settings through music and planned activities, working with teachers, caregivers and parents, currently promoting “My Little World” in DC chartered schools.

Through Wellness Circles, help men and women with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, learn ways to manage their health and prevent complications. Bring together grandparents and grandchildren to learn about what is needed to promote health and to support each other in getting and staying healthy, preventing and managing chronic diseases.


SHIRE’s work in the community has made clear the importance of trust in communications. Community residents are far more likely to listen to persons they know, such as neighbors, community center staff and faith leaders. Guided by this principle, we have recruited and trained a cadre of peer educators who have spread the message of health in several ways, such as: Recruit AmeriHealth members to participate in Wellness Circles and encourage their sustained participation; Make presentations to patients waiting to see their physicians; Canvass neighborhoods near farmers’ markets to promote purchases of fresh produce Contact health plan members to urge them to keep appointments with health providers Share information at health fairs sponsored by community organizations and faith institutions


Health Information Technology SHIRE co-founded and supports the work of the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved, a nationally recognized advocate for communities of color who are at risk of being left behind with regard to health information technology advances. For more information, click on


SHIRE continues to strive to achieve its mission – eliminating racial/ethnic health disparities and working for the attainment of optimal health for communities of color. As an example of that commitment, SHIRE recruited DC residents to participate in health insurance programs made possible by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and actively participates in efforts to maintain ACA coverage and benefits.

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