Pamplin Media Group – Coming Soon: More Community Health Workers

The funding will help community organizations turn paid volunteers into full-time paid employees.

Washington County is spending $2 million in federal funds to remove barriers to health care.

The money will be split among a dozen local organizations to help build a network of community health workers who bridge language, transportation, information and other gaps that hinder the Latino community’s ability to reach vaccinations and doctor’s appointments.

For the non-profit Forest Grove Adelante Mujeres, the funding will help turn a few volunteers on a stipend into full-time salaried employees.

“Part of the goal is that by working collaboratively we can share services and opportunities. A developer from Beaverton might not have the same information as one from Forest Grove,” said Anabertha Alvarado Martinez, who coordinates a volunteer community health care program. workers – or “promotores de salud”, in Spanish – for Adelante Mujeres, in a press release. “Before this grant, I was the only staff member coordinating our team of community health workers. Having two additional promoters allows us to track families and provide them with resources, rather than just providing ad hoc information about vaccines or COVID.”

Bienestar, which provides affordable housing and services to 2,300 Washington County residents, also said in the statement that it would be able to hire its first full-time community health worker after previously relying on a team of volunteers.

New community health workers form the Washington County Community Health Worker Learning Collaborative to develop culturally appropriate COVID-19 training materials, dispel misinformation, and provide education and resources on vaccinations, testing and other COVID-19 prevention and treatment services. The growing network has already reached more than 7,000 people in Washington County, according to a county news release.

The money for the grants came from a nearly $4 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health in Washington County as part of an initiative to improve the health literacy, a person’s ability to find, understand, and use information and services to help them make health decisions

“We believe that improving health literacy and knowledge will also improve access to and use of COVID-19 services and resources within the Latinx community, and ultimately improve health outcomes,” said Armando Jimenez, senior coordinator of the Washington County Health Equity, Planning and Policy Program. .

In addition to Adelante Mujeres and Bienestar, grant recipients include Centro Cultural de Washington County, Doulas Latinas International, Familias En Accion, Neighborhood Health Center, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection, Project Access Now, Providence Promotores de Salud de La Iglesia, Unite Oregon and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.

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