September 26, 2017
Since May 2015, Genesee Health Plan (GHP), with funding from the Crim Fitness Foundation under the Community Education Initiative, has provided health educators in every school in the Flint Community Schools district. The goal of the Initiative is to transform Flint Community Schools by providing health care resources and information as well as other available resources to students, their families and friends, and community members. These health educators are known as Community Health Workers (CHWs).
“Our partnership with the Crim Fitness Foundation is vital to connecting students, families and the surrounding communities with necessary and much-needed health care resources,” said Jim Milanowski, GHP President and CEO. “By identifying and addressing health care issues facing students in the Flint Community Schools district, our hopes are that they, along with their families and community, will stay healthy and continue to improve overall health outcomes as well as create opportunities for students to have a successful future.”
What are Community Health Workers?
Launched in partnership with the Crim Fitness Foundation with funding from the C.S. Mott Community Foundation, CHWs are front-line health education professionals who improve access to health coverage for the uninsured and eliminate barriers to health care by connecting students, families and the local communities they serve with a medical home and community resources.
“We are fortunate to have the Genesee Health Plan as a partner and we are grateful for their commitment to working with us in creating healthier families in Flint,” said Gerry Myers, Crim Fitness Foundation CEO. “Their Community Health Workers play a vital role in reaching out and connecting the community with a variety of essential resources.”
During the 2016-2017 school year, the Community Education Initiative placed CHWs within the following Flint Community Schools and the communities they surround: Brownell STEM Academy, Doyle/Ryder Elementary, Durant-Tuuri-Mott, Eisenhower Elementary, Freeman Elementary, Holmes STEM Academy, Neithercut Elementary, Pierce Elementary, Potter Elementary School, Northwestern High School and Southwestern Classical Academy.
How do they serve the community?
CHWs placed in Flint Community Schools identify the needs of students, their families and community members by connecting them with vital resources such as health coverage, doctor visits, transportation, food and housing resources, and much more.
What impact have the Community Health Workers made?
From September 2016 to July 2017, GHP assisted 4,777 students, families and community members in the Flint Community Schools (a total of 2,336 adults and 4,087 children) and also identified the following as unmet needs:
CHWs also connected 1,561 individuals to community resources which included food, clothing, transportation, dental, smoking cessation, housing and water resources within the community. Throughout this new school year, CHWs plan to implement a school uniform donation program in addition to school-based health education programs and training for students, families and community members.
For more information about CHWs, watch our WNEM TV5 Health Yes! segment that aired on Sept. 14. The segment highlights information about CHWs and tips for making sure children have a healthy school year.
If you have questions about our CHWs, visit geneseehealthplan.org/programs-outreach/chw or call (810) 339-6394. For more information about the Crim’s Community Education Initiative, visit crim.org/community-education-initiative.
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