MercyOne has been awarded a $160,000 grant from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and community volunteerism. This funding, awarded through Volunteer Iowa, will extend MercyOne’s community health worker program, allowing eight AmeriCorps members to be trained as community health workers to serve communities of Clinton, Sioux City and Waterloo. Two community health workers will also be deployed in the MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center emergency department.
Community health workers are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of and/or have a remarkable understanding of the community they serve. Community health workers will support screening for social determinants of health, connect patients and their families to community-based organizations, and facilitate enrollment in available federal, state and local programs to increase access to health care support services.
“It has become increasingly clear that improving the health outcomes of our patients means extending our focus beyond the clinic and hospital walls and into the communities where our patients live, learn, work, play, and worship,” said Derek Novak, president of MercyOne Population Health Service Organization.
AmeriCorps grants are awarded on a competitive basis to projects that support organizational capacity-building, education, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, veterans and military families, economic opportunities, public safety, disaster preparedness/response, and other identified community issues in Iowa. MercyOne is one of just 19 programs to receive funding for the 2021-2022 program year.