Ill. Community health workers receive funding from IDPH and CDC
ILLINOIS (KFVS) – Formed by the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) and the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA), a group of community health workers will continue to offer resources in Illinois with new support from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Health (IDPH).
Leaders such as IPHA’s Dr. Tracey Smith and IPHCA’s Ollie Idowu joined Governor JB Pritzker’s administration today to announce the COVID Health Equity Pandemic Health Navigator project. A $10 million program enabling community health workers to continue connecting vulnerable constituents to basic human needs and health resources.
Dr. Smith said community health workers have played an important role in Illinois’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts whose usefulness goes far beyond the pandemic.
“Community health workers are a trusted source for communities struggling with long-standing health equity issues in Illinois,” said Dr. Tracey Smith, director of community health at Illinois Public. Health Association. “Many community health workers we have hired during the COVID-19 pandemic have already found positions using the skills our training provides. We are grateful to IDPH for allowing us to continue this work and further strengthen Illinois’ public health infrastructure.
Community health workers are front-line public health workers who are knowledgeable about the services and needs in their respective areas.
According to IDPH, more than 650 residents have completed the Illinois Public Health Association’s training program to become community health workers under the Pritzker administration’s Pandemic Health Navigator program.
Through this training, they were able to connect thousands of people quarantined by COVID-19 with food, medicine and safe shelter.
“Illinois is fortunate to have a trained and active community health workforce supported by federally qualified health centers, local health departments, providers and community organizations,” said Laura Vaught, chief of staff of the IDPH. “With health disparities funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our COVID-19 pandemic response programs can realign to meet needs across Illinois.”
The COVID Health Equity Pandemic Health Navigator project will be available in 27 Illinois counties including Alexander, Boone, Cass, Clay, Douglas, Fayette, Franklin, Hardin, Henderson, Jackson, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, Lawrence, Macon , Marion, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Rock Island, St. Clair, Saline, Union, Vermilion, White and Winnebago.
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