Follow-up Friday: NYC Community Health Workers

NEW YORK (PIX11) – Community health workers have helped New Yorkers, from helping manage diabetes and mental health to helping share resources to reduce violence in NYCHA neighborhoods.

It’s a personal mission for Dina Dini from Staten Island. She lives in homes in South Beach and is a community health worker there. Her job is to help bring peace and healing to her neighborhood.

She helps distribute mental health resources and coordinates gun violence prevention workshops, which has a big impact. Hundreds like her were specifically launched at NYCHA developments more than two years ago, and now 48 workers continue to serve at 44 NYCHA developments.

“We’ve seen a lot of progress with community health worker presence at NYCHA, which has led to higher vaccination rates,” said NYC DOH Deputy Commissioner Dr. Olusimbo Ige. “When they do their outreach, they identify resources, and then they connect them to mental health and gun violence resources, a different set of workers, but we use the same strategy.”

Among NYCHA residents, 92.2% received at least one dose of the vaccine (compared to 86.9% of residents citywide). The tasks of community health workers are far from over. The pandemic continues and Ige said their work must continue.

Watch the video player above for the full interview.

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