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Essentia Health helps 1600 patients connect with resources

Updated: August 27, 2020 06:16 PM

When you head to your appointment at an Essentia clinic, you may notice there are more questions to answer about food and transportation. If you indicate you could use some help, you're asked if it's ok for a community health worker to contact you.

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Lindsey Eales is one of those workers. "They are often surprised to hear Essentia is offering this help, and appreciative, especially if they're not familiar with all of the resources," Eales said. She reaches out a day after the survey is completed.

Since April, they have helped connect more than 1600 patients with new resources. This started as a pilot project last year, and Essentia decided to roll it out in full in April, because of rising needs during the pandemic.

Expect to see it continue. Emily Anderson, Community Health Director, explained, "We want our patients to know we can be a resource. These other things, like food and transportation and financial stress, are so important to what keeps them healthy overall, and tied to health outcomes. And it will become a more routine part of the health care process."

Eales said it makes her feel good knowing she's helping entire families. Because if she can help one person in that family, she's helping them all.

Patients from around the region have been connected to 28 different organizations so far this year.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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