Community Health Worker
Community Health Worker
Summary: Assists individuals who are experiencing homelessness, living with HIV/AIDs, have a serious mental illness, substance use disorder or are refugees with obtaining access to health care and social services in the community. Utilizes and discusses personal experiences regarding his or her recovery from mental illness, homelessness and/or substance use, or experiences as a refugee when providing services to participants as determined appropriate with his or her supervisor. The CHW engages individuals who are not in care, are seeking care in emergency departments or other facilities, are referred for care and met through outreach. The CHW provides on-going peer support and case management to obtain access to health care and achievement of collaboratively developed health goals proportionate to the individual's readiness.
The CHW position is for the Supportive release Center (SRC), an innovative post-release intervention. The SRC is a unique collaboration between government, social service providers, and researchers, which aims to provide support for individuals with varying needs as they leave the Cook County Jail. The goal of the SRC is to improve health outcomes, decrease recidivism, and facilitate a smooth transition back into the community. Applicants must be willing to work occasional Saturday morning and weekday night shifts.
The CHW is expected to have an understanding of mental illness and substance use and be willing to engage individuals who are experiencing these. The CHW has life experience similar to that of members of the population with which he or she is assigned to work. The CHW is aware of his or her life experience and its impact on his or her participation in healthcare and is willing and able to share this experience with the participants served in an effort to:
- Engage the individual in service delivery
- Assist individuals in understanding his or her service needs
- Promote understanding of the individual's needs within the care delivery team
- Help the individual served integrate care recommendations into his or her daily life
- Advocate for the individual and help reduce barriers to change
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Conducts outreach, case-finding and education services to identify individuals who are in need of health care and social services.
- Assist in the planning and creation of strategies, along with a collaborative team, to facilitate referrals and transitions through communication within systems of care on behalf of the participant.
- Assists participants with obtaining access to health care and supportive services.
- Assists participants with navigating through systems of health care and social services, providing for public transportation and accompanying participants to appointments as needed.
- Assists participants with maintaining relationships with care providers, supporting adherence to collaboratively identified health goals proportionate to each individual's readiness.
- Assists participants through peer support and frequent communication/follow-up utilizing a harm reduction approach.
- Performs grant intake interviews.
- Accurately completes reports as required. Reports may include daily encounter logs, data monthly submissions and summaries of case management notes for medical record documentation.
- Participates in meetings, conferences and committees as assigned.
- Provides basic advocacy, assessment, planning and casework services. Demonstrates an ability to carry out these services to individuals.
- Assists staff in collaborating with community health and social service providers and partner agencies to identify barriers and service gaps.
- Maintains a case load of participants as required by grant stipulations.
- Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Education and/or experience: High School Diploma (Associates Degree preferred – Health and Human Services related field). Demonstrated experience with and appreciation of the health and human service needs of vulnerable populations. Ability to work with vulnerable populations in a non-judgmental manner and has the ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team. Proficiency in a specific language may be required.
- Skills/Abilities: Ability to communicate effectively both orally and written, and have basic computer skills. Must be able to multi-task, have initiative, and be self-directed. Ability to endure periods of heavy workload or stress. Ability to work with frequent interruptions and respond appropriately to unexpected situations. Ability to transport self to and from off-site locations. Ability to work with other members of the healthcare team and community to provide quality health care services.
Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and commute.
Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
- Significant amount of time spent in outreach and at off-site locations as a representative of Heartland Health Outreach.
Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.
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