Health Care Access Now is a certified member HUB in the Ohio Network of Certified Pathways Community HUBs. What does that mean? More effective outreach and more powerful support to help clients overcome barriers in order to access health care.
The HUB model allows Community Health Workers (CHWs) and support organizations to take a holistic approach toward helping clients achieve better health outcomes. This includes facilitating access to health care, of course, but acknowledges that other circumstances – such as lack of housing, transportation, or education – can affect health. CHWs are trained to determine what impediments exist and connect clients with resources to help them surmount those barriers.
HCAN has recently added two new positions: HUB Operations Coordinator and HUB Director. The people in these positions talk about how the work they perform in these roles helps HCAN provide more specialized and targeted care for community members.
Dameta Wright, HUB Director
Dameta Wright began her new role as HUB Director for HCAN a few months ago. “I spent more than a decade in project management before I took this position,” she says. She became the HUB Director because she believed the work could “increase the positive impact I have on the most vulnerable members of the community.”
Wright explains how the HUB model allows HCAN to be flexible enough “to meet each person where they are.” She gives the example of two pregnant women entering the system during their third trimesters.
“We could see a mom who has not regularly been attending prenatal appointments. We can make sure she gets to those appointments, provide education on safe sleep, breastfeeding if that’s of interest to her, contribute diapers and wipes, and so on.
“But another mom at the exact same point in her pregnancy might not need all of those things. She might have been going to appointments regularly—but she may be experiencing other challenges. We can connect her with different resources to meet her own specific needs,” Wright says.
She stresses the importance of providing support beyond traditional health care. “There are social determinants of health: housing, education, food insecurity, and more. If we address the overall health of an individual, we are bound to impact the health of the whole community.”
As HUB Director, Wright will “provide strategic direction and oversight of multiple programs and lead delivery of service to address client needs.” She mentions the impact of COVID-19 on HCAN’s programs. “In addition to the normal workload of the CHW team, the emotional support they provide for people during this time has been vital. This additional support from CHWs ensures that clients feel less isolated while they continue to be connected to the services they need.”
Bettie Johnson, HUB Operations Coordinator
Bettie Johnson took on the role of HUB Operations Coordinator around the same time as Wright became HUB Director. Prior to taking the new position, Johnson worked as an administrative specialist in food service for Talbert House. Because of her stellar work in her former position and “shared common interests and ideas about community health work,” she turned out to be the perfect fit for the HUB Operations Coordinator at HCAN.
Primary responsibilities in Johnson’s new position vary. “I help out where I can,” she says. That could mean data reporting to various partners and funders, enrolling new clients, or uploading information to the care coordination system. “The majority of the position involves work behind the scenes, but it grows and changes every day.”
There’s a lot to like about the new position, Johnson says, but she particularly enjoys learning “a whole new field of data collection and reporting.” She believes this position will make a positive difference for the health community by “providing a better perspective of what’s needed, what’s available, and what could be developed.” She says work she performs could identify “why certain needs aren’t being met in the community at large.”
Wright and Johnson may just be beginning to settle into their new roles, but they’re already making a positive difference in the community.