Welcome to the POWER Program home page! - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center


Welcome to the POWER Program home page!

The POWER Program is an innovative project designed to help participating veterans manage high blood pressure and other chronic conditions. The centerpiece of the program is a trained cadre of peer health leaders. These leaders—volunteers from the SE Wisconsin units of nationally chartered veterans’ organizations like the VFW and American Legion—attend special sessions with the POWER team (a group of medical and academic professionals) to learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, social support, self-monitoring, and active engagement with healthcare providers for improved health outcomes and quality of life. To learn more about the peer leaders’ training, please see “POWER Curriculum” below.

The peer leaders take what they’ve learned at the POWER training sessions back to their local units, and present to their fellow members during monthly meetings. In addition to presenting, the peer leaders assist members with blood pressure readings and weight checks, encourage members to record their numbers for upcoming doctor visits, distribute informational materials, and facilitate health-related discussions. They also assist the POWER Team with the study component of the program, which tracks the blood pressures, health habits, knowledge and attitudes of a subset of hypertensive members. The study will help determine if peer-led interventions like POWER are a viable way of improving blood pressure, modifying lifestyles, and educating those who are exposed to it.

The POWER Program is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D). It is a collaborative venture involving VA physicians and researchers, members of various veterans’ service organizations, and faculty and staff from the Medical College of Wisconsin. To learn more about specific members of the POWER Team, click on the “POWER Team” link. To learn more about the participating veterans’ organizations, you can follow links to their websites under “POWER Partners,” located on the right hand side of this page. We hope you enjoy reading about this unique project!

Power Curriculum

The product described here, called the POWER Curriculum, contains everything the POWER team used to plan, conduct, and evaluate a community-level training program that taught a group of volunteers to effectively lead health education sessions and activities at their affiliated organizations, and to model healthy behaviors for their peers. It can be broken down into three main categories: The 8-hour Training Session, the Mini Training Sessions (MTS), and Monitoring and Evaluation activities. Please follow the links below to learn more about each.

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Proper Citation

We encourage you to use, adapt and link to the curriculum to suit your purposes as long as (A) it is properly cited as indicated below and (B) you let us know how you are using it by sending a quick email to jmorzins@mcw.edu. The proper citation for the curriculum is:Morzinski J, Patterson L, Whittle J, Ertl K, et al. The POWER Program Curriculum. Funded by VA HSR&D grant IAB 06-086, “Working with Veterans Organizations to Improve Blood Pressure.” 2010. Available at:www.powerprogram.org


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Helpful Health Links

American Heart Association [AHA]*
American Stroke Association*
American Diabetes Association [ADA]*
National Institute on Aging [NIA]**
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [NHLBI]**
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]
MOVE! Weight Management Program 
Eat This, Not That! [Men's Health Magazine]*

POWER Partners

The American Legion Department of Wisconsin*
VFW of Wisconsin*
Vietnam Veterans of America*
AMVETS Department of Wisconsin*
Wisconsin Elks Association*
Korean War Veterans Association*
Jewish War Veterans*
DAV Department of Wisconsin*
HA Todd Jr. American Legion Post 537 [POWER Page]*