insurance, care management, social services, and just learning how to stay
well. It all can be overwhelming for a sick person.
providers know this so they came up with this idea - train someone to help out.
East Texans could soon find themselves reaching out to what's called a "community
health care worker."
works in a clinic, but the community health worker likes stepping out to where
she's really needed.
"I go to
people's homes, and I go with them to doctors appointments and we get to know
them very well," Sylvia Santos, a community health worker, said.
health workers are called CHW's. They guide patients through all the other
medical acronyms and cut out lots of red tape.
faster for the client or the person to get from point A to point B with a
community health worker than by themselves," Santos said.
It may be
linking someone to social services or just making sure they take their
medications on time. The area health education center wants more CHW's in its
exciting thing for us is our vision is really to become a community health
worker hub for resource and information and help and advocate community health
workers," Mark Scott, a center director, said.
health workers can be employed in a variety of places from hospitals to private
employers. Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital is hoping to hire two community health
workers in the near future.
A CHW can
also be an educator by leading someone to a healthier lifestyle. That produces
big savings for private industry.
"Going to the ER versus not going to the ER
and going to your regular physician saves anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 a
month," Lurah Bryant, a community health worker instructor, said.
fact Lurah Bryant teaches in her CHW course. Any lay person interested in
keeping people well in a paid position or a volunteer position is encouraged to
sign up now.
be educated on communication skills, interpersonal skills, advocacy skills are
really big," Bryant said.
The goal is
to bridge the gap between providers and those in need of care.
Registration for the spring online
course to become a certified community health worker is underway. You may
contact TEXAS AHEC East-Piney Woods Region in Nacogdoches for more information
and a registration form. Get started by going to www.pwahec.org.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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