Healthy Chesapeake has launched a peer ambassador program in four pilot communities. Resident volunteers from these neighborhoods are working with Coalition members to identify and discuss many of the challenges they experience within their community. Then, they work with the Coalition members to develop and implement strategies and programs to address these challenges and opportunities. The level of commitment by the residents and the ability to generate realistic community responses is a real lynch-pin to the success of Healthy Chesapeake. The ambassadors are the important eyes and ears of the neighborhood. They are also vitally important in determining how the Coalition works with the neighborhoods. We are truly grateful for the commitment of these non-paid volunteers as they encourage the continuation of our projects.
One of our priority areas with the Ambassadors is working to encourage our residents to have a “medical home”. Too often, residents do not have a family care provider, but rather, use the local emergency rooms for treatment. This approach unfortunately is much more costly. It also often hinders people from getting regular preventative care or receiving care that is reflective of a full case history. The Ambassadors are trained to help their neighbors access other medical options, including the Chesapeake Care Clinic when meeting the eligibility requirements. Our goal is to ensure our residents are getting preventative care rather than just reactive care.
The Ambassador Work Team is led by Jennifer Robinson from Chesapeake Regional Medical Center with teams members from Anthem, Norfolk State, the city of Chesapeake, the Lifestyles Center, and the Health Department. If you are interested in working on this project, please let us know. This important team is searching to expand its’ membership. Once the pilot test is completed, we will be accepting applications for additional neighborhoods.
For more information on the Health Ambassador Program please click here.