(Dover, Ohio) – Access Tuscarawas has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the North Canton Medical Foundation to expand its Bridges to Wellness HUB program.
The program connects individuals and families in Tuscarawas County to the healthcare and social services agencies that can provide them with assistance to improve their everyday lives.
The Access Tusc HUB program, launched in July 2018, strives to identify particular services for families that will remove social and medical barriers, and create positive outcomes. A Community Health Worker (CHW) provides community-based services to the families within their homes to increases family participation and allow the CHW to build a rapport with clients in a familiar setting.
The grant money will be used to train four new Community Health Workers and purchase the software system for four agencies in the region who will employ a CHW in Bridges to Wellness HUB.
“North Canton Medical Foundation has always had a special relationship with the people of Tuscarawas County,” said John Humphrey, M.D., NCMF Executive Director. “The Foundation honors the legacy of its founder Dr. Ralph Warburton as it has transitioned from a medical practice to a grant-giving foundation. This grant aligns with our core mission of supporting access to care and wellness for all of us.”
Sarah McFadden Endlich, Bridges to Wellness HUB Director said, “By utilizing Community Health Workers in the HUB, new local employment positions are created, existing community resources are used efficiently and effectively and the potential to maximize community partnerships by entering into a relationship with Bridges to Wellness is positive.”
Working to improve health outcomes requires more than access to medical care; it also encompasses behavioral health, as well as social, environmental, and educational factors—also known the “social determinants of health.” All of these factors must be addressed in a holistic and comprehensive manner in order to improve health for an individual or a population. Risk factors are addressed at the individual level: housing, pregnancy assistance, smoking cessation, insurance, medical home, family planning, access to medication, transportation, dental, employment, adult education, and evidence-based parenting instruction to address the needs of the entire family. For each of these issues there are specific evidence-based and best practice interventions available that can address the risk factor.
“Throughout our rural area, many individuals are suffering because they are unable to access healthcare and social services,” explained Jessica Kinsey, Founder of Access Tusc. “With strong support from the agencies in our community, the impact of our Bridges to Wellness HUB program could be limitless.”
Bridges to Wellness HUB pilot program focuses on pregnant women with Medicaid insurance who have barriers in their lives and women of child-bearing age struggling with recent or current opiate addiction. In the first 13 months of the program, Bridges to Wellness has served 63 families who met the parameters of the pilot program. Referrals continue to be accepted from anyone in the county. Bridges to Wellness is expanding into Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey and Muskingum Counties and looks forward to offering services in the five-county region.
For more information about Bridges to Wellness HUB and Access Tusc, please visit www.accesstusc.org or contact Sarah Endlich at (330)308-3591.