The Community Health Worker Program is a highly effective grassroots initiative that trains and employs women and men from surrounding communities (all of whom have experienced poverty themselves) to provide critical prevention services focused primarily on women and children. Supported interventions include home vaccinations, health education, prenatal care, malnutrition therapy/weight checks, and follow-up on illness/compliance. Depending on their interests and skills, Community Health Workers may also fill other vital positions in the health center, such as work in medical records, pharmacy, and epidemiology. We present two outstanding examples here.
REINA: Administrative Assistant
Reina first joined the RVF in 2003 as a patient. As an 11 year old girl with a life-threatening medical illness and without a family able to care for her, the RVF basically ‘adopted’ her--providing all necessary medical care, education and other basic needs. Over time, Reina’s health stabilized, and she was hired as a Community Health Worker in 2009. Trained in computer and customer service, Reina is now an exemplary employee and important member of clinic operations—assuming all financial responsibility over her own life.
Salary and benefits for 2012: $4346
PAOLA: Patient Service Representative
Paola worked for CSRAM in housekeeping for a number of years. Recognized as a bright and motivated young woman, Paola was promoted to primary patient service representative for the busiest clinic. Her charisma, intelligence and excellent customer service skills have quickly made her a respected team member among her colleagues and the patients alike.
Salary and benefits for 2012: $2400
Computer training scholarship (2012): $115