Health can be a very personal thing. You have your physical health, mental health, and emotional health to think about. But one thing you might not consider is community health. Community health is a field of public healthcare which focuses on the overall health of a population in a given location, based on a multitude of factors such as neighborhood make-up and local health policy.
Then what is a Community Health Worker? According to the American Public Health Association, a Community Health Worker is defined as “a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.”
Our Community Health Worker is named Vickie Meyers. She has been working with CAD since September of 2020. She works with participants to find out what resources they need in the community. After an intake process, she connects them with the program at CAD, or another community organization, that best fits their situation. She finds that helping people access the resources they weren’t aware were available to them is most rewarding to her. She has always enjoyed working with people, and she is pleased to work in a place where that is her main duty. In an interview she declared, “Just being able to help even one person makes me very happy.”
At Community Action Duluth, we aim to address the concerns of community health through our programming. There are many facets to community health that don’t necessarily have to do with medicine. Access to healthy foods is essential to health, and through CAD you can sign up for SNAP food benefits. Transportation is also necessary in order to attend doctor’s appointments, get to work, and for many other necessities. Our transportation services are there to help you attain those needs. Our Community Health Worker also directs people to sign up for health insurance by pairing them with our MNSure Navigators. The employment programs we provide offer a path to a stable income and the opportunity for jobs with health benefits. Overall, there are many roads to community health, and CAD approaches our participants with a holistic perspective.