The FAITH! program’s research involves collaborations with the community, and in 2019 a new project was initiated that partnered with local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). The study was created in response to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative aimed at improving high blood pressure (or hypertension) control and self-management in underrepresented communities. FAITH! partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health and NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, a FQHC in Minneapolis. African-American patients were recruited and used a version of the FAITH! App called FAITH! Hypertension. This version of the app focused more on providing education specifically about blood pressure and had features that promoted self-management such as reminders to take medication or measure blood pressure at home. Participants also had access to a unique model of care, called the Patient-Provider-Community Health Worker (CHW) integrated care model. In this practice, the patient met weekly with a CHW who could assist them with the app, their care plan, and even provide resources for local assistance as needed. The CHW would evaluate the patient’s needs and could connect them to resources for mortgage or rent assistance, transportation, access to food or medication, financial assistance and more. The CHW could also provide updates on the patient’s progress directly to the provider in between the patient’s appointments at the clinic.
This study is now in its fifth and final year, and FAITH! is in the process of establishing a partnership with another Minneapolis-area FQHC to recruit additional patients. A manuscript has also been submitted for publication, so check back for updates!