WHAT IS HAPPENING THIS MONTH AT WESTERN MARYLAND AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTER?
Celebrating Community Health Workers!
Oral Health Community Health Worker, Dorian at Friendsville Elementary School play group participating in oral health outreach.
WHAT IS A CHW?
A community health worker is the front line public health workers who are leaders or trusted members of, and/or have an unusually close relationship or understanding of the community they serve.
Mountain Health Alliance (MHA), a WMAHEC program made possible through HRSA grant
#D06RH27794 from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, has made headway in both its behavioral health and dental health focus areas.
Mindy Dodrill, MHA's behavioral health Community Health Worker, has undertaken a survey of behavioral health clients to ascertain demographics and areas of need in order to better serve clients needing assistance in overcoming barriers to care. In addition, WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser and the Western Maryland Health System are both referring clients to Ms. Dodrill who need assistance in tapping community resources.
Behavioral Health Community Health Worker, Mindy at Cumberland's National Night Out.
Dorian Birkholz, MHA's dental health Community Health Worker, regularly receives referrals from WVU Potomac Valley Hospital and Garrett Regional Medical Center regarding patients presenting in the Emergency Departments of the respective hospitals with oral pain. The hospitals have the patients sign release forms, which are then faxed to Ms. Birkholz at WMAHEC. MHA staff created a network of dental providers who see MHA referred patients at a greatly reduced hourly rate. The dentists are paid through the HRSA grant's direct service dollars.