In honor of National Public Health Week, please join us in celebrating all of our wonderful partners who work every day to improve our communities! The theme of NPHW this year is to become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by year 2030.
Anna Matthews is a Case Manager with the Magnolia Project, a federal Healthy Start program and initiative of the Coalition. She shares in this guest post the role the Magnolia staff plays in building a healthy community in Northeast Florida!
Four Magnolia Project employees recently received certification as Community Health Workers. A Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW) is defined as “an entry-level credential for front-line health workers who, by virtue of their trusted status in the community, serve as a liaison, link and intermediary between health services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.” The new certified staff are:
- Anna Matthews, Case Manager
- Patrice Alston, Office & Outreach Assistant
- Nina Odom, Outreach Specialist
- Cheryl Wright, Outreach Specialist
As a Case Manager, having this certification provides another layer of services, resources, advocacy and information. Our number one priority at Magnolia is the heath of the women, and now babies, that enter our program. As a CCHW, we are able to expand access to healthcare services among the population we serve in four main areas:
- Coordination- Participants who work or attend classes during the work day, may need help with making appointments for annual exams, WIC Services or the Immunization Clinic. As a CCHW, we are in a position to coordinate a day and time that is convenient for the participant, which ensures a better chance that she will keep the appointment.
- Link – Participants often need access to other medical services in the community such as dental and mental health services, and have health and safety issues such as domestic violence and child abuse. We can link to the appropriate services, follow-up to ensure that link was made and that the participant is receiving services
- Intermediary- Between the participant and the service agency. Working with the agency or healthcare facility to make them aware of any special conditions or language barriers, and to help coordinate the delivery of services when needed.
- Advocacy – Assist participates in advocating for themselves and their healthcare needs.
Being a CCHW gives Case Managers more credibility, allows for expanded services and delivery and also reduces the barriers our participants face when trying to access healthcare for themselves and their families.