Think about a time when you or a family member were lost or confused on how to do something that affected your daily living. Whether it was learning how to connect with a health care provider, helping take care of a sick family member, or accessing resources to help meet your most basic needs. How did you overcome this challenge? Did someone help you along the way?
In the communities we serve, many families face struggles such as these every day. They may be unaware of how to access and navigate the different resources available to them, while trying to overcome a variety of medical complexities and social barriers.
Here at the Holyoke Health Center, the Community Health Workers (CHWs) are front-line public health outreach workers who have a strong connection to the communities they serve, with an in-depth understanding of the patients’ experiences, culture, language, and needs.
We asked our CHW's to share what it's like to work with our patients in care management:
“My name is Yarlene Sanchez and I am a Community Health Worker at the Holyoke Health Center. Listening attentively, understanding what the needs are, working effectively to connect patients to resources and ensuring help is on the way, when most in need, is the start of building healthy relationships with the community.
My role consists of connecting our patients to financial assistance resources, transportation services, aiding their food/ housing insecurities, to employment /apartment search, and advocating for their needs. As a bilingual CHW, my role also includes translating for the Spanish speaking community. These are a few of the many other duties a CHW takes up on.
I enjoy knowing and hearing from our patients that because of the support they’ve received through our services, they can now focus on their medical needs to improve their health. It is such a rewarding feeling knowing you played part in their progress.”
Stay tuned for part two of A Day in the Life: Community Health Workers.