DALLAS, TX / ACCESSWIRE / October 13, 2022 / One of the biggest issues our healthcare industry faces today is inadequate health care that fails to address the social determinants of health; the conditions in environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age that affect a wide range of health-related outcomes. If we don't address the social issues that hinder care, then we will never address the root causes that contribute to health disparities.
So, what are health disparities? Health disparities are preventable problems in regards to disease, sickness, injury, and even opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. These could be things such as lack of funds to afford medications, lack of transportation to get medical care, or living in a food desert without access to healthy foods. The cause of healthcare related issues for hundreds of thousands of people nationwide is not necessarily due to lack of healthcare, but rather due to the lack of health equity. A problem Umemba Health has set out on a mission to solve.
The problem is clear, if we only treat symptoms and not the cause, the problem never goes away and people never get the help they so desperately need. But what's the solution?
CEO and Founder of Umemba Health, Quisha Umemba thinks the solution is quite clear; advancing health equity with Community Health Workers.
The American Public Health Association defines Community Health Workers, or CHWs, as frontline public health professionals that are trusted members of the communities they serve. CHWs often have a unique understanding of the experience, language, and culture of the people in their communities and therefore have a deep knowledge of the resources, relationships, and needs of that community. "There are enough professionals taking care of a patients' medical needs, but there are not nearly enough professionals taking care of a patient's social needs. CHWs help bridge that gap" said Umemba.
If patient's are lucky they will spend about 15 minutes on average at a doctor's visit. During that time, the doctor may tell them to go on a diet and the nurse may give them a handout on the foods to eat and avoid. How does the CHW support patient care? "The CHW will spend time providing basic nutrition information, making referrals to community resources like cooking programs, and providing them with a handout on Farmers Market locations in their area. The CHW also tells the patient if they're eligible for SNAP benefits (also called food stamps) and then helps them complete the application if assistance is needed. Community Health Workers have the time to spend with patients addressing real-life issues, thus preventing health-related disparities" she followed.
At Umemba Health, their work lies at the intersection of healthcare and public health, because one cannot be successfully achieved without the other.
"I'm a nurse. I know all too well how important it is to provide patient-centered care that addresses the "whole-person", not just the symptoms they walked into the clinic for. CHWs are not THE solution, but there are A solution, and in many cases utilizing them in the clinical setting can lead to improved health outcomes".
Since being founded in 2020, Umemba Health has trained over 2,000 CHW's across the United States. They have worked with organizations such as Project Hope, the Epilepsy Foundation, the Medical University of South Carolina, Diversity In Diabetes and others. Through Umemba Health Academy, their virtual campus for CHWs and CHW Instructors, Umemba Health provides high quality certification and continuing education designed to increase workforce readiness and support career development for the growing profession of Community Health Workers.
"Umemba Health works with public health organizations and healthcare systems to educate their workforce, empower their leadership and expand their community presence, this in turn elevates the lives of the individuals and communities they serve".
With such a massive impact made in just the last two years, Umemba Health aims to become the biggest educational company for Community Health Workers in the world, partnering with public health organizations and healthcare systems worldwide to help them design, train and implement their CHW-led programs and initiatives inside of their organizations or within the communities they serve. " CHWs are the real front-line. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been the "boots on the ground" identifying those in need and helping them access the care they deserve. This is one way to address health disparities, one way we can achieve health equity." says Quisha Umemba.
The goal at Umemba Health is to contribute to individual development and organizational performance that leads to improved public health and population health outcomes. A problem of this magnitude can't be solved with the snap of a finger, it is going to take a radical change at how we educate and train the people who service our communities; Umemba Health is doing their part, one CHW at a time.
About Umemba Health
Founded in 2020, Umemba Health helps public health organizations and healthcare systems to educate their workforce, empower their leadership, and expand their community presence to elevate the lives of the individuals and communities they serve.
Name: Quisha Umemba
Phone: +1 512-609-0242
SOURCE: Umemba Health
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