265129 From Innovation to sustainability: A program's perspective on successes and challenges of implementing a CHW program in an HMO setting

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Marci Aguirre, MPH , Community Outreach Department, Inland Empire Health Plan, San Bernardino, CA
Jessica Castillo , Health Navigator Program, Inland Empire Health Plan, San Bernardino, CA
In this session the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) will discuss the challenges and successes of sustaining a Community Health Worker (CHW) public health model program in an HMO setting. IEHP understands how CHWs/Promotores serve an important role in reaching and teaching various disadvantaged populations. This understanding was key to creating the Health Navigator Program, which uses community participatory approaches and home visitation to effectively make positive change in member's lives. In addition to teaching families how to navigate the healthcare system and helping them establish a medical home with a Primary Care Provider (PCP) the program also connects families to essential community resources (ex. Food distribution, WIC, Head Start, violence counseling, etc.).

This session will feature best practices that highlight the solutions to challenges that occur in creating and sustaining a CHW program. Some of the topics will include creating agency support for a new program, long term financial sustainability, family compliance, addressing needs beyond healthcare, hiring/supervising a diverse team, dealing with emotional toll on employees, program evaluation, etc. Throughout the presentation real life accounts from the IEHP Health Navigator Program will assist to facilitate learning.

This session is relevant for community leaders such as, Promotores, CHWs, Public Health professionals, and management personnel of CHW Programs who want to learn ways to manage and find successful solutions to challenges that arise when creating and sustaining a CHW program. This workshop is based on recent data, practical application, and evaluation of IEHP's Health Navigator Program, based on the CHW/Promotores model.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
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:
Identify best practices that can be implemented in other programs. Describe the design of the Health Navigator Program and the steps taken to implement the Program. Explain how this model has worked well for a not-for-profit HMO health plan. Analyze the challenges that arise when creating and implementing a CHW program. Demonstrate how the challenges were addressed and resolved. Identify the successes in sustaining a CHW program. Discuss real life accounts from the IEHP Health Navigator Program.

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am part of the team that planned, implemented, and now evaluate the Health Navigator Program at Inland Empire Health Plan. Using the Community Health Worker model we 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 through a home visitation model 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.