ChristianaCare’s community health workers help patients navigate the health care system, advocating for their health and wellness, at no charge. Community Health Worker Yolanda Gooding shares how she and the community health worker team can help you reach your personal and medical goals and connect with resources that can help you and your family.

Q: What can a community health worker do for me?

A: As community health workers, we become a part of your support system so you and your family can be healthy. We can connect you to community resources that offer assistance with utilities, food, housing, insurance, mental health and transportation.

We talk with you about your personal goals and medical goals so we can connect you with resources that help you and fit your budget. Specifically for Women’s Health, we also assist women in gaining access to maternal health resources.

We’re also a listening ear when times are hard and will work with you to figure out a solution to the issue if needed. We can check in with you regularly and even can meet you at your home, if that is more comfortable or convenient for you.

This service is free for ChristianaCare patients who are referred by their health care provider.

Q: What do you enjoy about being a community health worker?

A: I enjoy meeting my patients and hearing their stories. Some of my patients have been through so much, and they continue to push through. I love helping my patients and creating a bond where they can rely on me, and I’m their first call when they need assistance.

At the beginning of the year, I started working with a patient, and at the time, she was pregnant with her third child, with no support system, and just weeks away from not having a place to live. We started meeting frequently and building a relationship where she could trust me and come to me if she needed any help.

Throughout these few months of working with her, she’s been able to find employment and get approved for rapid rehousing. We connected her with transportation to her OB appointments, provided babies supplies, and much more.

My patient has gotten to a place now where she feels supported and confident enough in her future that she has enrolled in school for Medical Billing and Coding. I’m so proud of her! She put in the work to get to where she is now. Hopefully, she will be moving into an apartment which, is one of her goals we identified in the beginning.

My patient will be graduating soon, and I already know I’ll be crying. I love the impact we’ve had on each other.

Q: How can I be connected with a community health worker?

A: ChristianaCare health care providers can refer you to a community health worker. If you are interested, contact your health care provider. (ChristianaCare caregivers may contact a community health worker directly or through Vocera.)

Learn more about ChristianaCare’s community health services.