Inland Empire Health Plan Introduces New Community Health Workforce

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Aiming to improve health outcomes for Members, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has introduced 75 Community Health Workers (CHWs) who have undergone nine weeks of intensive training at San Manuel Gateway CollegeLoma Linda University. These CHWs will support comprehensive care management for IEHP Members with chronic health conditions, who are enrolled in the Health Homes Program.

CHWs, defined by the American Public Health Association, are frontline public health workers who serve as liaisons between health plans, social services and the community. To equip IEHP’s CHWs for their role, the training curriculum covers integrated complex care topics such as motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care, medication review, assessment, and linking to community resources.

“By investing in this training, we have launched a new Community Health Workforce at the largest scale to date in the Inland Empire, and we are assured they are incredibly well trained for their critical role within the Health Homes Care Teams,” said IEHP Senior Medical Director of Practice Transformation Elise Pomerance, MD, MPH.

IEHP currently has 50 Health Homes Care Teams that are located in key geographic regions, heavily populated by IEHP Members. These teams include a registered nurse care manager, behavioral health care manager, care coordinator, and a CHW, creating an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to whole person care.

“Many of our Members with chronic conditions struggle to navigate their way through the healthcare system. We want to eliminate any barriers we can. Through our CHWs, we are able to improve health outcomes by increasing their engagement in their health and connecting them to any additional resources they need,” said IEHP Point of Service Care Management Clinical Director Catherine Knox. “CHWs have really become a critical part of the Health Homes Program work we do at IEHP.”

IEHP plans to train additional CHWs in the coming weeks to prepare for potential opportunities presented through the Medi-Cal Healthier California for All initiative.

To learn more about IEHP visit iehp.org.

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