For more than 160 years, Eskenazi Health has continued to find and support new ways to address social determinants of health affecting the patients and communities it serves. In keeping with Eskenazi Health’s dedication to patients and the community, the community health worker role was created. Community health workers have become a useful resource; specifically individuals with little to no social support, homebound patients and the elderly.

Eskenazi Health community health workers meet one-on-one with patients at designated Eskenazi Health Center locations and patient homes to enhance an individual’s understanding and adherence to treatment protocols, identify potential social determinants of health and help patients set and achieve their self-management goals. During their time with patients, community health workers conduct welfare or safety checks, distribute medical supplies, assist with blood pressure or blood sugar checks, and educate patients on the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Community health workers play a vital role in bridging the gap between patients and their health care providers and are focused on building and maintaining positive relationships while becoming a trusted health care and educational resource,” said Tedd Grain, director social determinants of health for Eskenazi Health. “A main goal of Eskenazi Health Social Determinants of Health is enabling the communities and patients we serve to live longer, healthier lives. This goal cannot be achieved without the support and dedication from community health workers”.

With recent funding from Health Resources and Services Administration, Direct Relief and Center for Disease Control, Eskenazi Health has doubled the CHW staff working in primary care and created a specialized internal training.

For more information about Eskenazi Health community health workers, please contact Tanika McNeal, community health worker supervisor at tanika.mcneal@eskenazihealth or Shakata Leigh Norwood, community health worker supervisor at shakata.leighnorwood@eskenazihealth.edu.

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