District tests new way to help the community

Published 12:42 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

The Piedmont Health District announced a new team that will support the health needs of the community. 

The community health worker team (CHW) is made up of regular community members who are equipped to help the health needs of their fellow residents. The team will help families and individuals connect with local resources, navigate the healthcare system and social services and advocate for healthy outcomes. 

“We want to be a bridge between healthcare and the community,” said Kaycie Porter, Piedmont Community Health Worker Lead. “Maybe they are having trouble with food security or stable housing and we want to get them connected to resources in the area.”

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According to Porter, the funding for this team comes from a COVID-19 related grant. This means that one of the team’s focuses is on vaccinations and why the numbers are declining. The team will talk to community members about what barriers are keeping them from getting the vaccine whether it’s from social deterrents, misinformation or other hesitations. 

How does it work? 

The team will rotate between the health departments seven counties during their walk-in vaccination days. On these days folks can come to the building and talk to the team about their needs. The team will also be out in the community during different outreach events to canvas and learn about what needs are in the community.

According to Porter, this team can be beneficial for both the healthcare side and the people. Many people don’t have insurance or don’t know how to get it. This team can help get insurance or find free or affordable resources. This helps keep folks stay on top of their health and frees up the emergency room from having folks in there for primary care needs. 

“We want to talk to people about what they think and feel and their concerns,” said Porter. “We want to be like a neighbor, as we are  community members ourselves, and talk to people about their concerns and get them the help they need.”

Where will they be located?

The teams will be at the vaccination clinics on Mondays in Charlotte, Tuesdays in Lunenburg and Prince Edward, Wednesdays in Cumberland and Thursdays in Buckingham. For general questions call Piedmont Health District information hotline at 434-392-8187 x 137.