The Allentown Children’s Health Improvement Project (ACHIP) was launched in 2016 thanks to a $1.91 million, 30-month grant from The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust. The new program brings together Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Department of Community Health and Women and Children’s services along with the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley in a partnership. The program’s primary goal is to improve the health of pregnant women and young children in Center City Allentown through home visits for early intervention. A staff of bilingual community health workers from the neighborhood surrounding the Neighborhood Improvement Zone operates out of PNLV’s Allentown Promise Neighborhood office in downtown Allentown. APN uses its strong relationship with downtown residents to connect parents with young children and pregnant women to the ACHIP services.
The health workers are embedded in the community they serve in order to better cultivate relationships with residents, leading to trust of the local healthcare system, which is a critical component to the program’s success with this at-risk population. Here is a profile on one of them – Kelly D. Brown.
1. What made you want to work on the ACHIP program?
I love helping people. ACHIP promotes helping pregnant moms and their young children, a population which is near and dear to my heart.
2. What interests you most about the work you do in the community through the ACHIP program?
To provide community resources, to empower families to become self-efficient, and to promote a healthy way of living.
3. Since the home visitations started, what types of things have you been able to help the new moms and moms-to-be about with when it comes to caring for themselves and/or their child?
I’m able to provide resources such as breast pumps, information on WIC, and make sure they have health insurance. I also can connect the family with childcare services if needed.