The Juniper network is an innovative approach for disseminating health promotion programs into the community, helping people improve health in a holistic, proactive way. Juniper provides a set of evidence-based programs, an infrastructure for training community-based leaders and an online portal that makes it easy for people to find a class that suits their needs.
Maintaining Program Fidelity
The web of organizations that offer the programs across Minnesota is a key element of the Juniper network. Organizational partners include housing centers, health care providers, faith communities, cultural organizations, social services groups and more. Each organization agrees to maintain fidelity to the program design and execution and to share the outcomes they produce within the Juniper network.
“We offer a program called Living Well at Fairview, which is also known as Living Well with Chronic Conditions,” said Megan Chacon, Community Health Outreach Assistant Manager at Fairview Health Services. “We were drawn to this program because of the solid research behind it and that it’s been around since the 1990s. That was important to us. We offered the class five times in 2016 and have had 19 classes in 2017. We have 15 trained peer leaders, and we offer the class in Spanish and Somali as well as English.”
“We are very pleased with the results. People are more confident in managing their chronic conditions because they have learned how to solve problems and how to make and follow through on action plans. They also learn about how to talk with their doctors. Something as simple as writing down their questions before they go to an appointment makes a big difference. That helps our doctors prioritize them, so they are sure to cover the most important ones. That’s a benefit to our clinicians and, as a result, they’re able to serve the patient better.”
“CommonBond Communities offer Tai Ji Quan, Living Well with Chronic Conditions and Living Well with Diabetes. These programs have been wonderful in so many ways,” said Gail Johnson, Health and Wellness Manager for the organization. “ People often feel isolated with their conditions. A big benefit of the class is helping people know that they are not alone. They’re not the only one. The action plans are very helpful. It’s eye-opening to people to think that a goal doesn’t have to be monumental. You can start small and make incremental change along the way.”
“An unanticipated benefit of the program has been a decrease in social isolation. We create a safe environment where people are willing to share intimate information. People know that what’s said in the room, stays in the room. Many of the participants exchange phones numbers and check in with each other between classes and after the class.”
Influencing Health and Well-Being
According to Johnson, the Juniper classes and being a part of a bigger network has jump-started CommonBond’s ability to be an influencer in the health and well-being of its residents. “That’s a huge benefit to us.”
If your organization offers one or more of the Juniper evidence-based programs and would like to join the Juniper Service Delivery Organization network, complete our registration form. If you would like information on how to begin offering a Juniper evidence-based program, contact us.