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Category: 2020

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2020BlogCommunity Health WorkersEmpowerGraduate StudentsInternational HELP ProjectsInterns

Making a Difference, One Project at a Time

Diana M., RN, and MPH Intern shares her experience developing public health projects for International HELP.

Having had the experience of being part of International HELP has been encouraging and eye-opening at the same time.  Over the past few months, I have been involved in creating health education materials for community care needs.  These materials will be utilized to train Community Health Workers (CHWs) who will in turn enable communities to better care for themselves.  I have had the opportunity to add to the teaching material that is already in place to train CHWs.  Some of the projects I have had the privilege of working on include creating a Spanish health questionnaire survey for Montgomery County, MD, and teaching material to add to the training material including first aid basics, Zika virus, cold/flu, and smoking cessation.

The teaching material will provide knowledge, increase confidence in what to do in case of an emergency, delay the worsening of a condition, ability to save lives, and increase awareness of preventive health.
The Hands and Feet of Communities

CHWs live in the community in which they serve, frontline public health workers, they have the ability to help reduce health disparities by providing training to the local people on how to manage their own health.  CHWs share language, ethnicity, and are aware of the culture they serve.  CHWs are able to provide health training and promote wellness in their community, provide assistance in accessing medical services, translate, interpret, mentor, provide social support, and can act as a liaisons between health services and the community to improve their quality of living. 

By increasing health knowledge, it empowers one to become more aware of their health and ways to improve quality of life.

Although my role in the whole of this tremendous endeavor is small in comparison, I know that the portion I have accomplished will be able to transform individuals to better care for themselves on a daily basis, one project at a time.  This endeavor, once implemented, can transform the need for crisis care in communities to a community that cares to prevent crisis.

– Diana M., RN, MPH Intern

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2020BlogCommunity Health WorkersCommunity Health Workers in ActionEmpowerImpact

The Importance of Empowerment

Audia F., International HELP MPH Intern, shares her perspective on how International HELP fosters an environment of empowerment and individual growth. There is always more to what meets the eye in each community and not every challenge is the same.

 

Community Health Workers Provide Extra Hands in Areas with Few Resources

Many times, health systems fail due to lack of access to care, lack of resources, and lack of knowledge of health professionals. In my 18+ years of working in the healthcare industry, I have found there are great benefits in obtaining increased knowledge and having a few more extra hands that are willing to help as opposed to working short-staffed. It increases your performance level which enables you to provide good quality care which in turn, leads to a more healthy population. Community Health Workers are the key members of the health team by assisting in all of these areas of concern.

The beauty of it all is the return investment in having a community that is empowered to get healthy and to stay healthy
Community Health Workers are typically found working in underprivileged areas where there is a lack of resources; far away health facilities, lack access to quality healthcare, and have cultural or religious beliefs that may hinder the type of services that can be received. You also have to keep in mind that these workers merely volunteer their services and do not receive monetary compensation. I find this to be the most admirable thing one can do, having the desire to help without looking for something in return. The beauty of it all is the return on investment in having a community that is empowered to get healthy and stay healthy.

Empowering Locals for Health Improvement

International HELP’s mission is to educate and empower local people to develop their own communities for health improvement. Through this initiative, Community Health Workers are given the knowledge and the confidence they need to be valuable assets in their communities. Working with International Help has been a great experience. It is so fulfilling to be associated with an organization that aims to be a part of lifelong change.

– Audia F., MPH Intern