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By Jordan Brower – Healthcare and Housing Services Coordinator
The Wallace Medical Concern, Home Forward and Human Solutions are partnering on a new project called the Rockwood Health Hubs. The project aims to better connect residents with healthcare resources. These include: health insurance navigation, finding local and affordable health services, creating health promotion activities on-site, and community building with neighbors. This pilot project is exploring the intersection between supportive housing and health care. It also aims to create better connections to primary care means fewer emergency department visits, improved access and quality of care and a decrease in costs.
Throughout the first year of the project, residents have been involved in a needs assessment that includes both quantitative and qualitative information.
Needs Assessment Results:
30% of the youth do not have established care
14% of the youth do not have health insurance
18% of adults that currently have health insurance do not have establish care
The top three health promotion and wellness activities residents desire to be engaged with include: exercise activities, cooking and nutrition education and arts involvement.
What are the Health Hubs?
In February the Health Project kicked off with a health promotion event with 60 attendees in attendance. Community partners including Planned Parenthood, OSU Food Hero, Portland Adventist Community Services, Nadaka Nature Park, Emotion Dance, Scrap Pdx and The Wallace Dental Clinic were involved. The project held three workshops for residents; a nutrition class, a recycling class and a Zumba class. Resource tables provided information for residents and a chance to connect with local organizations about upcoming events.
Moving forward this year in the project, Wellness Teams are organizing and resident leaders will run and establish the teams of community builders, with the support of the Community Health Connector. Residents will meet to discuss strategies to bring their first health promotion activity to their hub. Each hub will be responsible for creating activities, managing and marketing activities to residents. The Community Health Connector will be available at resident’s sites to provide health resources and referrals both on-site and at their clinic.