Community Health Initiatives
Throughout our three county region, SEAHEC is working with community partners on projects to improve wellness and access to care. Our community-based initiatives include:
Community Health Worker Training and local capacity building to promote health and prevent disease.
COVID education and outreach through building local community health worker (CHW) workforce:
In July, 2021, SEAHEC was awarded a $1,000,000 grant from the US Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources Services Administration. SEAHEC will partner with five organizations including: The Arizona Community Health Worker Association – AzCHOW, a state-wide CHW association; two federally qualified health centers – Canyonlands Healthcare and Mariposa Community Health Center; Catholic Community Services/Casa Alitas – a social services agency and Pinal Hispanic Counsel, a behavioral health agency. SEAHEC, and three of its five partners will hire, train, supervise and evaluate a total of 12 CHWs who will be deployed to promote covid-19 vaccination among the most vulnerable groups in the six-county region.
These include: Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties in Southeastern and Central Arizona.; counties were selected due to their high social vulnerability per the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). Strategies of Proyecto Juntos will include:
Outreach to identify unvaccinated individuals;
Share information about how and where to get vaccinated;
Education to decrease vaccine hesitancy; and
Help plan, promote and staff vaccine events.
A Pilot Project for Migrant Care Coordination & COVID prevention
In June, 2021, SEAHEC and its partner Casa Alitas Shelter, in Tucson, received a CDC Foundation grant to support COVID education for migrant communities. Through this grant, SEAHEC is training Community Health Workers at Alitas to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate education and support to migrants and their sponsor families, addressing vaccine hesitancy and connecting migrants to a health center or health department in their destination community where a “health care home” can be established. SEAHEC is working with a network of other AHEC centers around the U.S. in top destination communities for migrants, in order to provide health care continuity, among other services. These include: Brooklyn/Queens/Long Island AHEC; Mid Rio Grande Border AHEC; Capitol AHEC and Miami/Dade AHEC. It is our hope that legal and behavioral health service providers and agencies will join us in this effort to support migrant families throughout their journey.
In 2014, the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded SEAHEC our second Network Planning Grant in two years.
The aim of the newly launched Arizona Community Health Workers Network was to build a coalition to create a state-wide network to support Arizona’s Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce. Despite Arizona’s long history of community health worker “CHW” advocacy and research, the CHW occupation remains a poorly understood and underutilized resource in Arizona’s healthcare industry. By uniting rural and regional CHW interest groups across ethnic, racial and geographic sectors in Arizona, the Network is increasing access to care by enhancing the capacity and integration of the CHW workforce in primary care and health promotion.
Our broad based network represents community health workers, their employers and diverse members of the health care community. Through developing a community health worker workforce that is both sustainable and integrated into health care teams, we address our most pressing issues of access to health care for the most disadvantaged residents of Arizona.
The benefits of the Network are being felt state-wide, as the work of our diverse agencies with broad scope and reach help transform the way in which health services are offered.
Santa Cruz County Opioid Action Initiative
Santa Cruz County Opioid Action Initiative Consortium aka SOSA Consortium- Substance Misuse/Opioid Misuse Prevention, Referral and Treatment:
Funded by HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Implementation (RCORP-I) Mariposa Community Health Center lead agency with many partnering agencies doing: prevention, treatment, health workforce training related to behavioral health and SUD/OUD.
The purpose of this grant is to collaborate across community sectors to increase availability of and access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services to prevent, treat and recover from substance use disorder (SUD) and especially opioid use disorder (OUD).
SEAHEC conducted assessment of health care provider SUD-OUD training needs, researched best practices in behavioral health integration with primary care and is providing continuing medical education for multiple levels of medical providers and other professionals, training providers on alternative pain management modalities to reduce the use of prescription opioids. SEAHEC is working with Santa Cruz County Provisional College District and University of Arizona Santa Cruz to offer coursework needed by students pursuing health careers, social work, and counseling
This new initiative of Pima County JTED Program and SEAHEC offers high school students the opportunity to learn about the vast array of health careers available while participating in “hands on” experiential learning with locally based and designed community service projects.
In January 2012, SEAHEC and partners launched the Arizona Healthy Hearts Initiative, a first step in building a broad based community health worker collaboration network. The network links Arizona’s American Indian Community Health Representatives and Latino Promotores de Salud, connecting them to the AzCHOW Network, and providing them with resources for collaboration. This network will provide a foundation for future community health worker work force capacity building efforts.