Community Resource Fair in West Dayton
The inaugural cohort of the Community Health Worker (CHW) training certificate program here has been gathering and learning information on how to best serve the underserved in their communities.
The program’s curriculum focuses largely on delivering necessary resources to communities that are lacking them. One of the resources is access to healthcare, but they also understand that to fully serve a client, all their needs must be met, and this includes basic necessities.
To help achieve this goal, the CHW cohort is going to share the knowledge, skills, and information they’ve been learning in their classes with the community. They are hosting a Community Resource Fair on November 18, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Corinthian Baptist Church in the heart of the West Dayton community, an area that has been recognized as being medically underserved.
Johnjé Jasper, CHW program and data collection coordinator, says, “We will have resources and invite organizations to offer information to the whole family. This includes health screenings, education, financial literacy, housing resources, and more. There will also be a coat giveaway and 200 food boxes will be given to members of the community, along with raffles of self-care items. We’d love to run out of food and coats!”
“Healthcare can treat the sick, but the social and economic environment created by society is what makes people sick.”-Johnjé Jasper, BSN, RN, C-CHW
This fair is one tool to connect people to resources that address a variety of needs. Johnjé points out there are many disparities in Trotwood and West Dayton, such as the food desert, which is a scarcity of affordable healthy food. This poor nutrition can be the starting point for disease, and the shortage of sufficient healthcare in those areas is also apparent. These disparities, combined with other variables, contribute to the overall detriment of a community’s health. The CHW cohort is learning that just as health can be viewed as holistic with many contributing factors, a lack of health can be viewed with the same lens.
Johnjé explains physician offices often close unexpectedly on the west side, and patients in the community must travel far to see a doctor in another neighborhood. She says, “Maternal and infant mortality in minority communities is an issue as well because there are not enough providers, lack of education and resources for mothers, and lack of advocacy.”
The goal of the CHW class is to be on the frontlines in the community to be advocates for those who have not had equal access to healthcare and other resources. This strengthening of communities helps them get their needs met and improve their quality of life.
Below is a video of a Ted Talk by Dr. Anthony Iton that addresses how one’s zip code can matter more than one’s genetic code. Johnjé says, “Healthcare addresses only about 20% of a person’s life. Healthcare can treat the sick, but the social and economic environment created by society is what makes people sick.”