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May 6, 2024

Trinity Health of NE to receive $1.27M to expand community health worker program

HBJ FILE PHOTO St. Francis Hospital is part of Trinity Health Of New England.

Trinity Health Of New England said Monday the state’s Congressional delegation has secured $1.27 million to help expand its community health worker program.

The program provides social care services for patients in the emergency departments of its three Connecticut-based hospitals — St. Francis, St. Mary’s and Johnson Memorial.

Carolyn Alessi, regional director of community health and well-being at St. Francis Hospital, said the federal earmark is a stopgap measure.  

“The funding is intended to be a bridge towards sustainability as we wait for the Medicaid billing code for Community Health Worker services to be designed, approved, and funded by legislation,” Alessi said.

Trinity Health Of New England’s community health and well-being team will apply for and secure the promised funding before expanding the program, which they anticipate will take place over the next several months, the health system said.
The health system said expanding the program will allow community health workers to be added to the care team at its safety net health clinics, inpatient units and more.

Dr. Syed Hussain, Trinity Health of New England’s vice president and chief clinical officer, expressed gratitude for the efforts of Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Reps. John Larson, Johanna Hayes and Joe Courtney for their efforts.

“At each of our Trinity Health Of New England ministries, our mission is to serve as a healing and transforming presence to our local communities and this funding is one more resource to allow us to achieve that goal,” he said.

The community health worker program incorporates social care directly into the clinical care process. This includes a comprehensive social care screening and integrates the community health workers into the clinical care team by addressing non-medical needs.  

The workers adhere to medical guidance and support the providers by identifying barriers the patients face within the community and at home. This has proven to be a high-value service and instrumental in affecting the patient’s experience and preventing future hospitalization, Trinity Health said.

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