Columbia St. Mary's Parish Nurse Program
Presented by Julia R. Means, R.N
In January 2011, through a grant provided by AHEC, the Parish Nurse program serving the Central City of Milwaukee was supplied with a community health worker. The community health worker, Christy Tolbert, has significantly enhanced the service that they have been able to provide to the community.
Impact of the Community Worker:
In only six months, the impact of the additional community worker can be quantified in the following areas:
- Diabetic Education has been provided to approximately 1,000 community members – twice the number served compared to 2010
- Blood Pressure Screening has been provided to approximately 1,200 community members – double the community members served compared to 2010
- Conducted 15 healthy cooking demonstrations – this is an important part of the learning experience for many people that would have been impossible without the community health worker
- As a result of increased diabetic education, ten (10) community members were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes
The Power of Community Health Workers:
In February 2011, after only one month on the job, Ms. Tolbert made an impact on someone’s life. A spouse of a minister was encouraged to attend the health clinic by Ms. Tolbert. Ms. Tolbert’s open personality supported the spouse of the Minister and Ms. Tolbert to form a fast and friendly relationship. The woman had recently lost her health insurance and was not feeling well. The woman was a diabetic who was not treating her condition as a result of lost health insurance coverage. Ms. Tolbert’s encouragement helped the minister’s wife accept care at the Community Chronic Disease Management (CCDM) Clinic and construct a health treatment plan to bring the disease under control.
In another case, Ms. Tolbert educated women in our community on the advantage of preventative mammograms. Research reflects that in the African American community, it is difficult to encourage African American women to seek and complete mammograms. As a result of her connection to local church leaders, a total of 35 women in our Central City community received screening mammograms.In closing, on behalf of the members of our community, I would like to thank AHEC for your generous gift. The community is healthier as a result of your grant.