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Access to Health | Community Health Worker Program

The community health worker (CHW) model uses a multi-sector approach to address complex health and social problems.Competing hospitals and a federally qualified health center collaborate to address one neighborhood’s complex health and social issues. In response to Covid-19, the OCICC developed a new Pandemic Health Worker program for Central and Southern Illinois, funded by HFS.

Training for community health workers (CHWs) is one of the most in-demand modules offered at SIU School of Medicine. Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a hub and spoke educational model that connects specialists in academic medical centers (“hubs”) to community health workers in rural and underserved communities (“spokes”) via workshops and videoconferencing. The ECHO sessions involve a case-based learning approach that contains 15-minute didactic lessons and patient case presentations by CHWs at participating spoke sites.

SIU School of Medicine and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association coordinate the three-day training workshops to transform the way rural, underserved communities learn and share knowledge. The CHW module includes sessions on diabetes, asthma, oral health and hypertension, as well as immersive, boots-on-the-ground trips into the neighborhoods. Experts can mentor and discuss their medical experiences with participants who acquire new skills and competencies to better manage patients with complex health conditions.

Integrated Trauma Treatment in Program-Solving Courts Program

The Integrated Trauma Treatment in Program-Solving Courts Program (ITTP) includes a dual focus on both serving the client in a trauma informed manner, and helping transform the legal system from the inside out through Trauma Informed Care training.

Serving the client: Evidence based, trauma specific psychotherapy is provided in individual and group format utilizing models such as Seeking Safety group therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and others. Clients are linked to trauma informed care trained physician and psychiatrist. Therapy can be provided in homes, the community, or the office, through the use of highly individualized treatment plans. Valid assessment tools such as PTSD PSS, ACES, and PHQ9’s are utilized, with scores tracked to inform treatment

Medical Student Hotspotting Program

The Student Hotspotting Program is a 6-month-long program, co-hosted by the Camden Coalition’s National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, alongside the AAMC, Primary Care Progress, National Academies of Practice (NAP), Council on Social Work Education, and American Association of Colleges of Nursing that trains interdisciplinary teams of professional students from schools around the country to learn to work with complex medical and social needs using a person-centered approach to address the needs of people whose combinations of medical, behavioral health, and social challenges result in extreme patterns of healthcare utilization and cost. The annual program involves the identification and engagement of patients with patterns of extreme healthcare utilization and poor healthcare outcomes and aims to improve outcomes for patients with complex medical, psychological, and social needs.