MANSFIELD, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined community health workers (CHW) during a home visit in Mansfield today. Brown met with Brittney Eddington, mother of a one-year-old daughter, who utilizes a variety of services provided by Mansfield Community Health Access Project (CHAP). Brown discussed efforts to improve health outcomes and tackle disparities – like pre-term birth and infant mortality – by increasing the use of CHWs.
“Community health workers are not only a trusted source of personalized care, they’re on the front line of health care,” Brown said. “And CHAP has found the keys to success. By identifying community-wide disparities and implementing comprehensive solutions, we’ve seen improved outcomes here in Mansfield. That’s why I’m working to ensure all communities – around Ohio and across the nation – have access to the same kind of high-quality care coordination.”
CHAP workers help patients navigate an increasingly complex and fragmented health care system by using existing community resources efficiently and effectively. Specifically, CHWs teach healthy behaviors that can prevent disease before it starts, administer preventive screening tests, manage chronic disease by coordinating care among many providers, remind patients to take their medicine, and help patients stay on track with self-treatment. They also help connect Ohioans with other resources related to nutrition, housing, employment, and education.
Brown has worked to improve access to CHWs for all Ohioans. Modeled after CHAP’s success, Brown successfully inserted a provision in the health reform law to help fund programs that connect people with CHWs.
Brown is a champion for improving children’s health in Ohio. Last year, his landmark legislation to battle back against the rise in infant mortality was signed into law by President Obama. The Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act will build on existing activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve upon the quality and consistency of data collected during death scene investigations and autopsies to better inform prevention and intervention efforts related to stillbirths, Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID), and Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Childhood (SUDC). This collaboration with the states to enhance current methods of data collection across existing surveillance systems will enable doctors and researchers to better track and prevent these tragic losses.