St. Joseph Medical Center receives grant to train community health workers

HERSHEY, Pa. — The High Foundation of Lancaster presented Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center with a $105,000 grant on April 11 to fund training for 100 participants who enroll in its Community health worker training program.

Offered at Langan Allied Health Academy on Penn State Health Downtown Campus in Reading, the program targets individuals who want to help improve health outcomes in their communities. Participants learn how to help patients keep appointments, take medications, and reduce risk by improving their access to care for acute or chronic conditions.

While some community health workers (CHWs) have little formal training in medicine or health care, they use an intimate knowledge of their communities and local resources to help their fellow citizens overcome language, cultural and financial barriers to care. or help them get transportation to appointments.

“Being a community health worker has helped me realize the need of our community and that patient care is not limited to the walls of a hospital or a visit to the doctor,” said Diana Rodriguez, CHW of St. Joseph Medical Center for Diabetes Management. . “Patient care is more than knowing what difficulties our patients face, which also affect their health, and how we can connect them to resources and organizations.”

St. Joseph Medical Center has used CHWs in several key clinical areas and for innovative models of patient education and group visits. They participate in programs that deliver vegetables to families and improve the health of people with diabetes and pregnant women. The medical center offers the training program in partnership with the Center for Health Education of East Central Pennsylvania and the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks.

A spring class is forming. Visit the website to learn more.

This grant will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a targeted campaign that aims to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st century public university: keeping the doors of higher education open to students who work hard, whatever regardless of their financial well-being; create transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence”, visit

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