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Cabarrus Health Alliance receives CDC funding to launch Community Health Worker program

CHA and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) were the only...
CHA and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) were the only agencies in North Carolina to receive the award.(WBTV File)
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:02 PM EDT
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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) will expand community based efforts to address the impact of COVID-19 among priority populations through funding from the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Community Health Workers for COVID Response and Resilient Communities (CCR) initiative.

The three year grant will allow CHA to integrate six community health workers (CHW) into organizations and care teams throughout the community by partnering with the following Cabarrus County organizations:

· Cabarrus County Department of Health and Human Services

· The Community Free Clinic

· El Puente Hispano

· Cooperative Christian Ministry

· Cabarrus Health Alliance’s Communicable Disease and Women’s Health Clinic

The American Public Health Association (APHA) defines a community health worker as a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of the community and/or has a strong understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship, between the CHW and the community, allows them to act as a liaison or link between those they serve and health or social service agencies to improve the quality and cultural competence of care.

“These partnerships and the physical placement of CHWs in our community will help to improve health outcomes among our African American and Hispanic populations impacted by COVID-19,” said Dr. Bonnie Coyle, CHA Public Health Director. “Data shows us that there has been an increased prevalence of COVID-19 among historically marginalized populations, who we know have faced long-standing health disparities. We have to do more to meet people where they are, and this program allows us to do just that.”

The Community Health Workers for COVID Response and Resilient Communities (CCR) funding is intended to address:

  • Disparities in access to COVID-19 related services, such as testing, contact tracing, and immunization.
  • Factors that increase risk of severe COVID-19 illness, such as chronic diseases, smoking, and pregnancy.
  • Community needs that have been exacerbated by COVID-19, such as health and mental health care access and food insecurity.

In addition to expanding COVID-19 related community work, CHA will work to strengthen CHW staff knowledge, roles, and skills so they are prepared to successfully engage with existing state and local public health-led actions to manage COVID-19 among priority populations.

CHA and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) were the only agencies in North Carolina to receive the award. NCDHHS plans to partner with 15 stakeholder organizations to assist with integration of CHWs statewide.

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