The Community Health Advocate (CHA) program provides motivated community members with training and resources to become active contributors and participants in activities addressing health needs in their communities. As a part of the program, CHA’s are encouraged to identify health concerns and develop their own strategies/programs for addressing these with support from the Center for Healthy Communities. Four CHA sponsored events held in June 2016 demonstrate the breadth of issues addressed by the CHAs.
On June 2, 2016, CHAs Courtney Williams and Latika Muhammad hosted a Disaster Preparedness workshop at the Toulminville library in Mobile, AL. During the workshop, both women stressed the importance of preventing medical issues by being properly prepared. To that end, the workshop covered:
- Creating a family disaster plan and ensuring that each member of the family knows the plan thoroughly
- Preparing medications (type and amount) in the event of an evacuation order
- Knowing the contact information for local emergency contacts
In closing the workshop, Courtney invited participants to register for CPR training.
On June 6, 2016, CHA Gloria Carter hosted a workshop titled “Lewy Body Disease and Other Dementias” at the Revelation Missionary Baptist Church. Facilitated by Kitty Bradshaw, an RN with Covenant Care, the workshop provided participants sought to help participants understand the signs and stages of different types of Dementia. The topic was important as Dementia is often not talked about; and many caretakers for Dementia sufferers are family members. Often this caretaker will ignore his/her own needs while focusing on their loved one. This can negatively affect their own health status through neglecting to take medications, developing poor eating habits and experiencing depression and anxiety. During the workshop, Ms. Bradshaw mentioned that often times the person suffering from dementia outlives the caretaker. Eligible workshop participants received continuing education credits toward their nursing or social work licenses.
On the 18th of June, CHA Barbara Hodnett hosted a “Health Fair for the Homeless” at Bethel A.M.E. church. Through the event participants received information on health issues impacting the group. The health fair featured:
- a mental health station staffed by psychologist to provide information on mental health issue including stress, anxiety, and depression
- A diabetes discussion station
- A blood pressure screening station.
On June 25th, CHA Ernestine Pritchett continued the theme of disaster preparedness by hosting “How to Survive a Hurricane” at St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church. The event focused on educating community members on what to do in case of a severe hurricane and other natural disasters. The American Red Cross and the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency were invited to teach survival training.