249672 Community Health Workers helping health plan members navigate the health care system

Monday, October 31, 2011

Marci Aguirre, MPH , Community Outreach Department, Inland Empire Health Plan, San Bernardino, CA
In this session the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) will demonstrate how the use of a Community Health Worker public health model in an HMO setting changes knowledge, behavior and utilization patterns. IEHP understands how Community Health Workers/Promotores serve an important role in reaching and teaching various disadvantaged populations. This understanding was key in creating the Health Navigator Program, which uses community participatory approaches and home visitation to effectively make a positive change in member's lives. In addition to teaching families how to navigate the healthcare system the program also connects families to essential community resources (ex. food distribution, WIC, Head Start, violence counseling, etc.).

This session will feature innovation, best practices, outcomes of knowledge change and utilization patterns, and share creative and fun education tools. Throughout the presentation real accounts from the IEHP Health Navigator Program will facilitate learning.

The session is relevant for Promotores, Community Health workers, and Public Health professionals who want to learn simple innovative ways to teach how to properly navigate the complex health care system. The session is based on recent data, practical application, and evaluation of IEHP's Health Navigator (home visitation) Program.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain the design of the Health Navigator Program and demonstrate its ability to increase knowledge on how to properly navigate the health care system. Explain how this model has worked well for a large not-for-profit HMO health plan. Provide examples of success stories of families assisted in navigating the healthcare system. Discuss challenges faced with implementing the program. Analyze the barriers families face due to their lack of understanding on how the healthcare system works. Describe ideas for fun and interactive education tools you can use in your own programs.

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Health Care Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I planned, implemented, and now evaluate the newly created Health Navigator Program at Inland Empire Health Plan. Using the Community Health Worker model I designed and modified what would work best in an HMO environment. This program targets specific populations who have clear misunderstandings or underutilization of the healthcare system and uses education and community connection to enable real behavioral change.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.