New MedStar 万达彩票网 Program Helps Patients Navigate Community Services

March 5, 2018

Community 万达彩票网 Advocates Work With the Most Vulnerable

BALTIMORE, Md.鈥(March 5, 2018)鈥 A program launched by MedStar 万达彩票网 last year has connected some of Baltimore鈥檚 most vulnerable residents to hospital-based community health advocates (CHAs) who ensure they receive not only routine primary healthcare, but vital community services.

The program piloted at MedStar 万达彩票网鈥檚 four Baltimore-area hospitals in July: MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and MedStar Harbor Hospital. There are now 15 full-time community health advocates employed throughout the region, credited with helping hundreds of Baltimore residents find support and resources.

鈥淪ocial determinants have a significant impact on health outcomes. The new front-line community health advocates for MedStar 万达彩票网 help address this for non medical challenges which interfere with their overall health,鈥 said Diana Quinn, regional director of community health for MedStar 万达彩票网. 鈥淭hese associates are members of our communities. They live in the neighborhoods and are well suited to link at-risk patients to those that can help resolve the social need. They serve as the eyes and ears of the hospital and provide ongoing support for social unmet needs, once a patient is discharged. During home visits the CHAs make the care teams aware of the persistent and numerous social barriers that our patients face that interfere with their health or getting the care they need.鈥

鈥淚ntegrated within each hospital鈥檚 care and case management teams, CHAs participate in patient huddles and post-discharge care planning. The CHAs are seen as a critical part of providing comprehensive patient care, and treating the whole person as part of care delivery. Our community health advocates have been instrumental in making connections to community-based resources to assist with patients鈥 social needs such as housing, food access, and utility assistance. They also serve as a critical part of supporting patients鈥 utilization of appropriate health care services,鈥 said Dr. Dawnavan Davis, assistant vice president of community health for MedStar 万达彩票网. 鈥淭heir contribution has been and will continue to be significant in addressing the social determinants of health for our patients.鈥

MedStar 万达彩票网 community health advocates have helped patients who have been threatened with turn-off notices keep their power on. They鈥檝e helped patients receive para-mobility services and aid to retrofit homes with wheelchair ramps and grab bars to increase mobility and independence.

Patients are also connected with a primary care physician if they don鈥檛 have one and given information on how to reduce the costs of their prescriptions. In some cases community health advocates have helped patients sign up for food stamps and connected primary caregiver family members with financial resources.

The Community 万达彩票网 Advocate Program is part of MedStar 万达彩票网鈥檚 commitment to serve the needs of the community in a holistic way. The program is intended to keep patients out of the revolving door of hospital readmissions for chronic conditions and help them navigate a complex web of social services. Community health advocates are hired from the areas they serve, further boosting the connections between community and hospital.

Sherri Harper, a community health advocate at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, called the work a 鈥渄ream job.鈥 In one case, she was able to help a patient in her eighties have a StairGlide installed in her home and helped the patient obtain a grant toward her energy bills so her service would not be shut off.

鈥淚t鈥檚 hard for individuals to obtain information on their own because a lot of people are not computer literate,鈥 Harper said. 鈥淚 can do that for them and make sure we鈥檙e getting the right information and they鈥檙e being helped the way they need to be helped.鈥

Rebecca McGougan, a community health advocate at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, describes her job as 鈥渕issionary work.鈥 She said she had experience in advocating while caring for chronically sick family members. 鈥淚鈥檓 going to knock every door down until they get the help they need,鈥 she said. 鈥淲hen people come in the hospital it鈥檚 not just about their health, it鈥檚 about the disparities they鈥檙e going through and they don鈥檛 know where to look for resources.鈥


About MedStar 万达彩票网

MedStar 万达彩票网 is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar鈥檚 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar 万达彩票网 Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar 万达彩票网鈥檚 patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar 万达彩票网 Baltimore
[email protected]

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