“Winning” Numbers Routine Screenings can Save a Life Every week we offer blood pressure monitoring at a local senior building. One of my regular clients came in and her reading was way above normal (American Heart Association Guidelines). I told her that her numbers were high and expressed my concern. I let her know she should seek medical attention right away. She declined all of my advice, though. She continued to tell me that her doctor was aware that her numbers were high and added she had experienced a stroke in the past. She noted she was already taking two types of medication. I emphasized my concern and reminded her that only she could make a difference in her future –and that she had to make a choice and act upon it. Several days later, I was so happy to see my client while out in the community. She came up to me and hugged me as if I had given her the winning lottery numbers! My client told me that she had decided to take my advice later that evening and go to the Emergency Department at the hospital. The staff and physicians at the hospital told her they didn’t know how she was there with them because her numbers were so elevated. They were surprised she did not have another stroke. My client stated I saved her life!
-Region 1 CHW - Elizabeth
“I want to help everyone that comes to me with a need. Often people are having a tough time with paying bills and finding resources for food, housing, and/or insurance. I try to take this opportunity to teach all of them ways to avoid a similar situation in the future. I show them how to contact the companies they owe and set up payment options, how to make a household budget, and how to prioritize their bills – so that housing, food and utilities come before entertainment, cigarettes, alcohol, or gambling. When we make their budget and get it all on paper, they are often amazed to see where all of their money is spent. This helps us identify what is really important to them. I also give them information such as the where food pantries are located and when they are open. We discuss ways they can use their resources while paying more on a utility bill and other ideas. Finally, I help sign up persons for insurance. This seems to always make their day and their future a little brighter. When their health is not the best, this provides them an option of going to the doctor and not having to pay out of pocket for the visit or the medications that needed to improve their quality of life. When they feel healthier, they can then cope with situations and make good decisions.”
-CHW Region 7 - Connie
“Our clinic decided to address the Diabetes Disease crisis in our county. In June 2015, we created a group for those overcoming diabetes. Our first group meeting had 6 participants and they met once a month for 6 months. In a typical group meeting, we incorporated medical and behavioral health education along with games, activities, videos, and snacks. Patients also meet with their health care provider for an assessment and a behavioral health consult. The Community Health Worker is also an Associate Diabetic Educator and did all the health education for the group visits. Education topics ranged from healthy eating, exercise, label reading, medication adherence and SMART goals. An obstacle we encountered were issues getting a few patients to the visits because of transportation. The CHW was able to address this by setting up reliable public transportation. The program has had significant outcomes including A1C reduction of 14%, cholesterol was lowered in 2 patients, as well as the LDL declined in 2 other patients. This program continues throughout the year. The CHW does all the medical education and leads the group visits. The CHW also follows up with all the participants to make sure concerns are addressed.”
-CHW- Region 7 - Nikki