MVNA currently has Community Health Workers (CHW) in our Home, Community and Family Health divisions. They have been a great resource to not only our nurses but clients and patients! We had a chance to sit down with Vonyee Howard to ask her about her job as a Community Health Worker. Here’s what Vonyee had to say:
Vonyee: I assist patients to connect them to medical, social service and community resources. I also educate and teach patients ways to self-manage their chronic disease to help reduce the chances of re-hospitalization.
Question: What skills and characteristics are needed as a CHW?
Vonyee: A CHW should be personable, able to relate to the population of people served, and able to “meet people where they are.” CHWs should have some knowledge base of various social service systems and processes, be passionate about public health disparities, and have the desire to be a part of improving such disparities. When necessary, a CHW should be willing to research and seek out information relevant to client needs.
Question: What does a typical day look like for you?
Vonyee: A typical days consists of identifying patient needs and assisting patients to connect with resources and agencies that will help the patient address those needs. Some cases require care and/or service coordination with clinics and other agencies.
Question: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Vonyee: Most of us know that the health care and social service systems can be difficult for some to navigate; a lot of people just don’t know where to start. The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I have connected one more person with who or what they need to help maintain their health and overall well-being.
To learn more about CHW work, visit here.