Community Health Workers: Interventions Without Borders
Loma Linda University Health’s Institute for Community Partnerships (ICP) currently works with Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Organizations that are CHW-based in multiple capacities.
CHW’s work to support ICP’s Focus Areas:
- Health & Wellness and
- Workforce Development
ICP employs and directly works with CHWs in a growing number of locations to enable them to focus on specific communities and special populations. Community Health Workers can specialize and work in collaboration with various systems, for example, education - Community Health and Education Workers (CHEWs), and healthcare sites - Cinic-based Community Health Workers (CCHWs).
Through ICP, LLUH CHWs will be stationed in critical access areas of the health system in order to become connected to community members who are experiencing the highest levels of need. The following are special populations the CHW program will address:
- At-risk infants and mothers
- Adults with diabetes
- Children and youth with diabetes
- Homeless individuals in our Emergency Department
- Individuals experiencing escalation of symptoms related to Sickle Cell Diseases
- Individuals experiencing a lack of access to mental health or behavioral health services and resources
- High utilizers of the LLUH system who experience undue social determinant burden and require extensive, supportive accompaniment and linkage to health and social services upon discharge from the LLUH inpatient system.
ICP works with many Community Based Organizations that employ community health workers to connect with community members (their neighbors) while promoting specific education, resources, and activities in various programs. For example, El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center in the City of San Bernardino to promote census work, emergency/disaster preparedness, asthma education and awareness, and Mental Health programs.
ICP additionally partners with other organizations such as FIND Food Bank, COPE, Workforce Development Department of SB, US Dream Academy and others.
Community Health Workers are the backbone of outreach within local school districts as well. One of the strongest programs active to date is the CHW Integration Program, in which CHWs strengthen bonds, promote stakeholder collaboration, and resource/accompany individual participants and families through their specific needs. With a focus on the Social Determinants of Health, CHWs maintain an important ‘feedback loop’, providing guidance and advice on program and project development.
Additional program partners include the SB County (assistance in efforts on enrollment), and other departments within Loma Linda University paving the way for CHW work (BMC, SBH, SPH, Faculty Clinics).