Profile of Hope: HHPC’s Project SHARE participant Melanie Smith offers her opinion about the power of social support (part 3 of 3)

Editor June 3rd

Washington Heights 58 year old resident, Melanie Smith participated in Project SHARE, a research program to lower high blood pressure in at the Harlem Health Promotion Center, offered for free to individuals in Harlem and Upper Manhattan. Since her discovery of having high blood pressure and participating in the SHARE program for only 6 months, she has lost 12 pounds and lowered her blood pressure.  Here, Melanie talks about ways she has changed how she chooses what to eat and how she has started to cook a lot at home. Here, Melanie talks about how the SHARE program has helped her through the power of support from her Community Health Worker, Alberta Morgan.

Q: Did you know the information needed to reduce your blood pressure already or did you learn it from the project?
A: I knew it already, but Project SHARE brought all that back to my consciousness, brought it right up front and made me aware of it all the time, especially whenever I shop for food. I’m reading labels. I’m always conscious of what I’m purchasing, how it’s going to affect me. Everything is really well thought out now

Q: Did Project SHARE make you feel supported?
A: Yes, I already knew about some of the health advice and information that Alberta, my Community Health Worker, told me because I worked in the field of medicine, but having constant support and reminders from Alberta really helped me change how to eat differently, how to shop differently. And once you get used to it, it just becomes a part of you.

Q: Are there any resources that you found out about from working with Alberta from Project SHARE?  
A: Yes now I go on the website a lot and I use the health information materials that Alberta offered to me by Alberta.

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