We’re excited to launch our Community Health Worker Initiative in South Pittsburgh! We have brought on five Community Health Workers (CHWs) who will be located in the Clairton and the Baldwin (Bhutanese) communities.
The CHWs will focus on helping individuals and their families to navigate community services, access resources, and adopt healthy behaviors. They will assist with scheduling screenings for breast, cervical, and cardiovascular issues, helping clients to manage chronic conditions through education about their treatment plan and working with providers when necessary. Our goal is to motivate consumers to be active, engaged participants in their health.
This work, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, links people living in communities that face socioeconomic barriers with needed social and health services.
The Community Health Workers
Our CHWs are trained individuals from the communities we serve. The CHWs were selected based on their personal and professional connection and commitment to their community, which allows them to gain trust from the individuals they assist.
In underserved communities, one of the barriers to care often includes low levels of trust for outsiders–especially health professionals. When health and social treatment comes from within the community in a culturally sensitive and responsive manner using the Community Health Worker model, it carries a much higher level of trust.
The Communities Where We Work
We selected two communities for our work: the City of Clairton and the Bhutanese Refugee population of the South Hills. These are two unique communities with specific needs, barriers, and strengths.
The City of Clairton is an economically depressed area with few resources easily accessible for community members. The Bhutanese community experiences difficulties accessing and understanding health and social services due to cultural, language, and transportation barriers. This population also tends to live in small pockets across a number of neighborhoods in the South Hills, so their unique needs and issues are often overlooked for the needs of the area as a whole.
Consumer Health Coalition is working to create self-driven positive change from within these communities by empowering community members with knowledge, resources, and referrals for health services.
A Holistic Model of Care
The CHWs use a holistic model of care that acknowledges that health and wellness are important physically, mentally, and socially. Through a number of meetings, the CHWs formulate a care and action plan that is tailored to each individual’s unique needs. The CHWs continue to follow-up, assess progress, and retune the plan accordingly until individuals meets their goals.
We place a strong emphasis on identifying barriers to care and working with individuals to resolve these issues. Our work also prioritizes connecting people to cancer screening because of the low screening rates among these populations, which is correlated with poorer health outcomes. We aim to promote health and wellness that works towards overall community improvement.
Contact Katie Holler (412-456-1877 x207) to get involved or learn more.