Hamot Health Foundation awarded a $21,000 grant to fund a Health Navigator at the Wellness Connection, a collaborative healthcare drop-in clinic for those who are homeless or underserved that is co-led by EUMA's Healthcare for the Homeless Partnership.
The Wellness Connection (WC) began on September 15, 2018 on the second floor of MHA (Mental Health Association of NW PA). The WC provides services on Fridays from 10am-2pm. The WC is a free drop-in clinic for individuals experiencing homelessness and who are considered underserved members of the Erie community.
The WC emphasis is an integrated, collaborative healthcare model that offers accessible, patient-centered, culturally sensitive and trauma-informed care by volunteers and/or paid staff from MHA, Erie United Methodist Alliance Healthcare for the Homeless Partnerships, Faith Community Nurses of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Community Health Net, Safe Harbor Behavioral Health of UPMC, Lake Shore Community Services, Stairways Behavioral Health, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Gannon University. The Wellness Connection has provided services to over 160 individuals within the past six months. The WC collaborating partners had begun to see the need for additional outreach which created the concept of the Health Navigator.
The Health Navigator will focus on the model of "For Them, With Them, By Them." The Health Navigator will empower persons who are experiencing homelessness and/or considered to be underserved in the community, with self-managing their health care needs and use of health care services. Service recipients will be taught skills to be assertive and effective self-managers of healthcare services so that their interactions with healthcare providers will be more effective. We are excited about this new opportunity! Thank you Hamot Health Foundation for supporting this effort!