A program manual to assist with implementation of a volunteer health and wellness program

Stephanie Ashenfelter, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Based on the success of a community health and wellness program, Wellness in the City, delivered in Dallas County by trained volunteers, Texas Cooperative Extension (TCE) decided to pilot the program in 16 counties in North and East Texas. Before implementing the program, TCE wanted the Dallas County program to be reviewed and revised as needed to meet the diverse community needs in the pilot counties. TCE also asked for an implementation manual to be developed for the county agents to utilize. To achieve these objectives, I first reviewed literature on other volunteer-implemented health interventions in the U.S. to see how they were planned, disseminated, implemented, and evaluated. Next, I reviewed the Wellness in the City program and materials. I applied all the information I gathered up to that point to the program development committee meetings (committee included seven TCE county agents, a TCE regional program director, and me). The program structure and training materials were revised based on our research and program implementation experience. These changes were made to ensure adequate training for the volunteers and to create a program that is applicable in the communities it will be piloted in. With the program structure and training presentations developed, next I focused on compiling the implementation manual, which includes program details and volunteer recruitment, training, and management materials. The goal was to create a manual with everything the county agents will need to implement the program, so they can focus their efforts on putting the manual to use and recruiting and managing the volunteers. The final step was developing a program evaluation form for the agents to complete. It includes questions to assess the agents' thoughts about the training content, the feasibility of implementing the program using the manual, and the challenges of the program.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Ashenfelter, Stephanie, "A program manual to assist with implementation of a volunteer health and wellness program" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1447185.