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Our Community Health Workers Help Patients Meet Their Needs and Goals, Close to Home

Our Community Health Workers Help Patients Meet Their Needs and Goals, Close to Home

Valley Health has three dedicated community health workers whose main goal is to help at-risk patients on their health journey. Community health workers live within the communities they serve, providing individuals with assistance and support, connecting them with resources in the community, and assisting with health-related tasks, such as medicine management and transportation to and from doctor appointments.

Community health workers develop patient-centered goals and work with patients intensively for three to six months to help them meet these goals. They conduct home visits, meet with patients in community locations, and also provide support over the telephone. These three positions are funded by two grants from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association Foundation and one grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Let’s meet Maria, Angie and Heather.

Maria Diaz
Started: November 2022
Location: Winchester/Frederick County

Who I help: Patients with complex medical and social needs

What I do: I meet patients and offer assistance at their doctor appointments; help them obtain their medications; transportation, and housing needs; and provide resources. I work with patients from the Winchester Rescue Mission and WATTS, connecting them with primary care and community resources. I find strategies that help people with their health needs. I meet them at their level and try to make them more independent in their care.

Why I do this: I like the personal connection. This is not just data and charts; it’s real people. It’s really exciting when someone meets their goals, becomes more independent or improves their health.

Angie Martocci
Started: March 2023
Location: Warren County

Who I help: Patients with a history of stroke, or who are at risk of a stroke, including diabetic patients and those with hypertension. Many have mobility issues and health barriers.

What I do: I help with transportation to and from appointments and assist patients with appointment reminders. I also help patients manage their medications, and I’ll take items like blood pressure cuffs to their homes. I connect patients with community resources as well. I work with homeless individuals, getting them tents and toiletries and connecting them with local churches where they can shower.

Why I do this: I like it when I can help a person, meet their needs and get them to a better place. If I can make something better or put a smile on a person’s face, that makes me feel like I’ve done something to make a difference.

Heather Roberts
Started: May 2023
Location: Page County

Who I help: Low-income individuals, older adults, people with disabilities

What I do: I connect patients to resources in Page County and try to keep them connected to these resources. This can include individuals who might not have electricity or food. I also connect people with their neighbors, like churches and nonprofit organizations, that might be able to help them.

Why I do this: I like working in the community. I like how we get to connect with people and that this is a very person-centered program. These people are so isolated, and when they make a connection, that’s a win. Sometimes, however, all you can do is listen to them and be a place where they can vent.