In 2015, UAct began working with DeAndre Neal, a Springfield anti-violence activist, to develop a Community Health Worker program at the Springfield Community Federation. A strong partnership flourished and UAct worked closely with staff and partners to design and develop the program.
The CHW accomplished much over a two-year period while active with the Springfield Community Federation:
- A health Screening Pilot Project with SIU Department of Internal Medicine served 78 homeless individuals with health care assessments, system connections, transportation, and more
- SCF’s Community Health Workers partnered with a United-Way funded program to serve individuals and families at Brandon Court as part of a 2-year multi-agency collaborative
- SCF developed and maintained partnerships with major health, education and service institutions in Springfield
- SCF’s health workers received significant outside training
- SCF’s Community Health Workers conducted outreach and education in partnership with St. John’s Hospital and SIU in an asthma prevention program serving 25 children
For more information, go to Community Health Connections
UAct designed the IMMUNIZATION ACCESS PROJECT to integrate Community Health Workers into SD186 and KKIS’s efforts to assist students meet the immunizations and physical examination requirements to begin school each year. The State of Illinois requires vaccinations to protect children from a variety of diseases before they can enter school. However, for decades, thousands of students will not have received their required physicals and immunizations by the first day or school in SD186 and an average of 500 annually are non-compliant by the exclusion day generally around two-weeks after the first day of school.
In November 2013, the Keep Kids in School Coalition was formed to combat this critical problem but the problem persists year after year. This cycle of non-compliance causes extreme burdens to the provider systems and preventable disruptions.
The proposal was unsuccessfully submitted by IPHA for funding. UAct then sought start-up funding from SD186 and the Keep Kids In School Coalition member agencies but was unable to secure commitments. The project can easily be resurrected if an appropriate funding source becomes available.
UAct also designed the HEALTHY KIDS AND COMMUNITIES CAMPAIGN and along with IPHA submitted a proposal for funding to connect high-risk families in Springfield, Illinois, with Community Health Workers to prevent the damaging, long-term health effects of pediatric lead poisoning. Community Health Workers from the Springfield Community Federation (a community-based organization embedded in the low-income Brandon Court public housing neighborhood) were to work closely with families in Springfield zip code 62703, an area designated as high-risk for pediatric lead poisoning by the Illinois Department of Public Health, to ensure that children received their required lead blood-level tests and that families learned about the dangers of lead exposure and how to employ practical prevention strategies. According to the funder this project missed the funding priority list by one project; it can be easily resurrected if an appropriate funding source becomes available.
UAct hosts on-line meeting between PENN CENTER FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS and numerous Springfield healthcare organizations to examine the Penn Center IMPACT Model.