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Montefiore in the News

February 15, 2024

These 12 medical institutions offer fresh, advanced approaches to patient care. By Rena Goldman February 15, 2024

Montefiore Health System

Program: Community Health Worker Institute (CHWI)   COURTESY OF MONTEFIORE HEALTH SYSTEM

The environments in which people live, work, and spend their leisure time are known as “social determinants of health” (SDOH), and they have a major impact on our health and well-being. This is especially evident in lower-income areas such as the Bronx, a borough of New York City, where people don’t have access to as many resources as those in other parts of the city. 

Montefiore Health System introduced its Community Health Worker Institute program (CHWI)  in 2021 as a way to fill the gaps between medical care and social services. It embeds local experts within designated clinical teams so they can represent the language and lived experience of the Bronx communities they serve. These workers receive training and education that helps them better identify patients’ social needs and understand how to work with them to arrange services.

CHWI serves patients in many locations across Montefiore Health System, including primary care, pediatrics and family locations, and obstetrics-gynecology clinics. Its dedicated lab not only does its own research on SDOH, but analyzes data to measure the impact that community health workers have on the lives of local residents. (Success means that patients get at least one service from a community health worker, or they make progress on a social need.)

Since CHWI was introduced in 2021, 24 community health workers have been trained to provide services to Bronx families. Data from CHWI shows that 92 percent of the families who have received its services saw progress after meeting with a community health worker. Future plans include extending the program’s coverage to include all three Montefiore adult hospitals in the Bronx.