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ACHIP Community Health Worker Profile – Jamie Santana

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 – Jamie Santana.

 

Santana_Jamie1. What made you want to work on the ACHIP program?

For the past five years I have worked as a Community Health Worker with the Department of Community Health at LVHN on an asthma program that assisted families and children ages 1-14 years old. I provided families with education on asthma medication, and assisted in the referral process to local organizations depending on the need.

What made me want to work with ACHIP is because it assists pregnant women and families with children from birth to age 5. I had already been familiar with this population and recognized that there are many young parents in Allentown in need of parenting education and guidance. I thought this would be another opportunity to continue making a difference in family’s lives. There are so many families that are broken and in need of guidance, as well as someone to trust.

 

2. What interests you most about the work you do in the community through the ACHIP program?

I enjoy listening to people’s life story. Each person has a story to tell about their life and the things they have experienced, both negative and positive. Each story is unique and I have the opportunity to take their story and express to families how some of the struggles they have encountered still have a purpose and could be used for good. These families have real struggles in their day to day life. Most feel like their stuck and can’t move forward. Others have been labelled, rejected and told they have no worth. My job is to help them see past all of that and find their purpose if not for themselves than for their children. Ultimately its empowering families to make changes to have better outcomes and look back to see how far they have come and they worked hard and can say “I did it!”

 

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?

There are so many needs that families have. One is not having enough baby formula. I had to assist a mom who just had her newborn and WIC was not answering their phones for a week. I had a stock in my office that had been given to me before the program began because I knew this would be an issue for families.

 

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2nd Annual EPN Resident Block Party in West Ward is Tomorrow!

Easton Promise Neighborhood will host its Second Annual Resident Block Party to bring West Ward neighborhood residents together while connecting them with local public service agencies this Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. inside Cottingham Stadium on N. 11th Street next to Paxinosa Elementary School.

The free event for EPN neighborhood residents will feature partner information tables from local non-profit groups, food and beverages, music, games and activities for children, and other entertainment. It will be held rain or shine. Attendees who get their passport stamped at each partner information table will be entered in a drawing for FREE raffle prizes.

For the first time the block party will take place inside Cottingham Stadium on the grassy playing field. We’ll have a large tent where you can hang out to enjoy all of the activities.

There will be water balloons to toss, sprinklers to run through, and of course the dunk tank! Plus we will be handing out cold bottles of water to refresh you! The first 200 people will get free ice cream, and the first 300 will get ice pops!

Event partners are Family Connection of Easton and the Easton Area School District.

Parents can also register their child for school in the Easton Area School District at the event. The following items are needed for registration:

  • Proof of immunizations
  • Four doses of DPT with one dose of tetanus and diphtheria on or after the fourth birthday
  • Three doses of polio
  • Two doses of MMR
  • Three doses of Hepatitis B
  • Two doses of Varicella (chicken pox) or proof of the disease
  • A current vaccine record must be presented at registration in order to register.
  • State birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Completed school district forms
  • Student registration record
  • Home language survey
  • Health information sheet
  • A mortgage or lease agreement in the parent(s) name is mandatory, plus two of the following:
  • Current utility bill, moving permit, car registration or insurance, tax statements, current

credit card statement, check stubs from wages, public assistance, or social security.

  • If a mortgage or lease is not available in the parent(s) name, an affidavit of residency or

support is required. Contact Central Registration at 610-250-2400 extensions 35097 or

35099 for more information.

  • Custody papers or PFA order, if applicable.

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