Chronic disease is a community issue… in the border town of Nogales, Arizona, where residents face numerous challenges to a healthy lifestyle. In response, community organizations formed Vivir Mejor (Live Better), a HRSA-funded partnership designed to increase access to quality health care, health education, healthy food and activities for physical activity.

Access to Care: Mariposa Community Health Center is implementing a coordinated care model in which community health worker are offered specialized training on diabetes complications and provided tools such as motivational interviewing provided by the Southeast Arizona Health Education Center to work collaboratively with patients.

Nutritional Counseling: The local hospital, Carondelet Health Network, offers nutritional counseling to high risk diabetes patients. The NP/CDE, who has 20 of years of experience in the community, offers three one-on-one sessions to high risk diabetes patients and helps them develop and follow a sustainable meal plan.

Health Education: Mariposa CHC uses their community health worker workforce to provide self-management and prevention education. They are also equipping community members as lay leaders to extend prevention education with their family and neighbors. Check out the Lay Leader Manual.

Access to Healthy Foods: With the help of Nogales Community Development and funding from the USDA to launch a farmer’s market, the Nogales Mercado where local entrepreneurs sell both their produce and prepared foods, is where Vivir Mejor participants can go to redeem vouchers given to them to purchase fruits and vegetables. The Nogales Community Food Bank provides food boxes that include foods that are appropriate for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Access to Physical Activity: – The 0s3 Movement is contributing to a growing biking culture in Nogales with weekly rides for adults and families. This summer (2016), 0s3 is offering their first bike camp for youth ages 8-13 to increase their bike safety and confidence!