Community Health Workers

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On March 22, Community Health Center Network and its partners toasted the hard work and success of Care Neighborhood.  Since its inception in 2013, the intensive case management program has come a long way in improving the lives of patients with the most complex challenges. As of March 2018, Care Neighborhood has served 1,163 members.  With expansion funding through the Alameda Alliance partnership, Care Neighborhood will grow from 12 to 20 Community Health Worker (CHW) positions in the eight health centers in 2018.  The event honored the partners that support this program and the heart of the Care Neighborhood model—our CHWs.

Several CHWs at the Block Party spoke passionately about what their work means to them. They shared experiences of advocating for patients to ensure that they receive the medical and social services they need.

“I feel this is what I was meant to do; having the opportunity to meet patients and help them with their health plan’s goals, providing clinic resources and connecting them with outside resources in the community and programs they qualify for.  It’s so gratifying to see the outcome of it all; when you receive a thank you from a patient or hear how their life has changed by us providnig assistance or just listening to what their needs are, feels great!” – Beatrice Sanchez, CHW, Tiburico Vasquez Health Center

“It is my job to assist all involved health care workers pull together for the benefit of the patient, and to create comprehensive treatment plans for that purpose…This work can be quite challenging, but the resources and trainings provided to us by CHCN are extremely helpful in finding ways to advocate effectively for patient needs.  It has been a great privilege for me to be part of such a wonderful program that makes a difference in the lives of so many people.” – Cecilia Schonholtz, CHW, Tri-City Health Center

“We do a lot in Care Neighborhood. We dedicate ourselves to learning the ins and outs of community resources so that we can connect our patients with the best ones, learn the basics of all sorts of medical conditions so we can converse with our patients meaningfully about their health, and advocate for our patients when they don’t always have the ability to do so for themselves. All of these pieces are important and crucial to our work, but first and foremost, what we do is we build relationships with our patients.  We do what, in many cases, nobody has ever done, and we sit down and simply listen to the stories they have to tell. Nobody is as simple as a list of symptoms. By seeing these patients in their full context, we can navigate these complicated diagnoses and barriers along with them, catering our work together to them as individuals.” – Melinda Lyall, CHW, LifeLong Medical Care