Supporting health-related social needs is increasingly recognized as important in addressing health disparities among vulnerable patients, but a patient’s willingness to engage in social needs screening and support requires trust in their care team. Rural communities’ emphasis on self-reliance and general distrust of institutions are barriers providers often face when seeking to develop trust with rural patients. At St. Mary’s & Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics, a rural healthcare organization serving the North Central Idaho community, community health workers (CHWs) are uniquely positioned in care teams to develop strong relationships with patients through community health events, home-based screening, and coordinating clinical and social care.

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In the absence of comprehensive economic and antihunger policies, emergency food systems and healthcare organizations have organized to meet increasing demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this webinar, we heard from two collaboratives about their strategies to address acute food insecurity in urban environments. We heard how their strategies were tailored to their specific populations and what lessons they’ve learned that can be applied to other organizations and cross-sector initiatives.

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This virtual informational session was hosted by Evelyne Kane, the National Consumer Scholars Program Manager, as well as Alayna Tillman and Stephanie Burdick, two of our Consumer Scholar alumni. We welcomed people with lived experience who may be interested in applying to be a Consumer Scholar, as well as staff/providers of complex care organizations who may be interested in referring someone to the program to attend this information session.

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COVID-19 has compounded long-standing economic and health disparities, disproportionately affecting Latinos and other people of color. The CARES Act did not confer equal access to stimulus relief or Medicaid to immigrants who are more vulnerable due to roles in essential jobs. To address these structural inequities, organizations like La Clínica del Pueblo in Washington, D.C. are rapidly transforming services to improve healthcare and social care access.

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