Community Health Workers Prepare to Reach Thousands of Vulnerable Families Across Henderson, Vance, and Warren Counties
Posted: October 1, 2020
Curamericas Global and local nonprofit recruit, train, and deploy teams to address health and economic disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic
Raleigh, N.C., September 25, 2020 – Today, Raleigh-based global health nonprofit Curamericas Global, local nonprofit Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO), and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHSS) met with 20 Community Health Workers recently chosen and trained to connect with underserved populations in Henderson, Vance and Warren Counties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After weeks of training, we are very excited to take this important next step in providing support to thousands of vulnerable families across our communities,” said Andrew Herrera, Executive Director of Curamericas Global. “20 local Community Health Workers will soon be deployed to reach out to people who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and connect them to vital resources and information, allowing them to receive access to the care they desperately need, food resources to feed their families or support for employment.”
In August, NCDHSS selected Curamericas to lead, guide, and train 150 community health workers across more than 20 counties through community programs, like GRRO, that are focused on health disparities of the coronavirus, directly impacting local Latinx and Black communities. Currently, African Americans represent 22 percent of the state’s total population, but 23 percent of COVID-19 cases and 30 percent of deaths. For the Hispanic population, they represent 35 percent of cases and 10 percent of deaths, while only making up 9.6 percent of the state’s populations.
These underserved populations disproportionately lack access to health care and other vital resources. Oftentimes, if they contract the coronavirus or fear they have been exposed, they delay seeking care, often with fatal results, and in the process transmit the virus to others in their family or community.
“For GRRO, the COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened our passion and mission, which is to create avenues of economic development in the face of persistent poverty, access to fresh and healthy foods, and better access to health providers,” said Henry and Ardis Crews, the founders of GRRO. “The Community Health Workers were recruited from our communities to serve their neighbors, and we are not waiting for families to come to us, we are going out to find them and ensure they know they have an ally.”
This partnership is part of NCCARE360, the nation’s first statewide technology platform that coordinates the work of organizations addressing non-medical drivers of health, such as food, housing, transportation, employment, and more. The NCDHHS technology will help close the loop for referrals to ensure every person actually receives services, not just receives a referral.
Community Health Workers will also receive referrals from local health departments and engage directly with communities, meeting families in need where they are. Through the partnership, Curamericas and GRRO anticipate reaching over 5,000 unique people through the end of the year.
“This foundation of relationships and technology, combined with empowering community engagement, differentiate this project from other efforts to reach those most impacted by COVID-19,” said Herrera. “In addition to this short-term relief work, we are also focused on long-term capacity building of partners to better support communities. This is an important opportunity for our entire state to support frontline agencies and ensure they’re strong for years to come.”
ABOUT CURAMERICAS GLOBAL
Curamericas Global, a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, seeks to partner with underserved communities around the world to make measurable and sustainable improvements in their health and wellbeing. Through data-driven methods and community-centered solutions, Curamericas Global aims to see a world free of suffering from treatable and preventable causes. For more information, visit curamericas.org.
ABOUT GREEN RURAL REDEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO), was founded in 2012 with a vision to revitalize Henderson and Vance County, North Carolina. We identified three critical issues that plague our community: poverty, food insecurity, and chronic diseases. It became clear that the other rural counties around us were impacted by the same issues, so we formed partnerships around our 5-County area and started addressing these issues. GRRO creates programs and projects that positively impact our community by providing avenues of economic development in the face of persistent poverty; access to fresh, healthy foods for vulnerable members of the community; and support health providers to reduce certain chronic diseases through access to better, fresh foods.
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