SALISBURY — Health providers across the nation are turning to community health workers (CHW’s) to serve as connectors between health care consumers and providers. Peninsula Home Care is leading the way as the first home care agency in the region to offer community health worker services through a partnership with Peninsula Regional Medical Center.
New to the Maryland team are Peggy Wilkins and Shawntell Mitchell. Peggy and Shawntell visit clients at home (in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties) to provide clinical care as well as social assistance such as food security, help navigating a particular insurance or Medicare or to simply help them arrange for transportation to and from doctor appointments.
With experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Geriatric Nursing Assistant and a Certified Medication Technician, Peggy Wilkins of Pittsville made a career move from working in nursing homes to become a Community Health Worker for Peninsula Home Care.
“When I worked in the nursing home it was all doom and gloom,” said Ms. Wilkins. “Now that I am able to visit people in their homes, I can help them by giving them the resources they need to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. I want people to know that there is hope and when I am able to help someone, they are very grateful and appreciative for all I do. It feels good.”
Shawntell Mitchell has 17 years of work experience in healthcare. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant, a Certified Medication Technician and now a Community Health Worker for Peninsula Home Care. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to help her clients make good decisions when it comes to their health. The Hebron resident says she loves her job and can’t think of anything else more rewarding than helping people heal.
“I will never forget when one of my client’s told me that he didn’t know what he would do without me,” said Ms. Mitchell. “It is why I do what I do. I live to help others in the hope that I can teach them something to empower them to manage their health on their own.”
Currently, Peninsula Home Care CHW’s are serving more than 85 clients on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Clients do not have to meet home care requirements to receive services. The CHW makes regular home visits and follow up phone calls serving as an advocate for health and daily living needs. The program is offered over a six-week time period but can be extended depending on the client’s needs. Community health workers are available to clients from 8:30am to 4:30pm (Monday through Friday).
Examples of Community Health Worker Services Include the following:
- Health Education – Illness Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms
- Community Resources – Meals on Wheels, Medicare, Social Security
- Chronic Disease Self-Management
- Tele-Health Services
- Scheduling Doctor Appointments
- Medication Management
- Meal Planning
- Pain Management
- Home Safety
- Stress Management
- Fall Prevention
- Coping Skills
To learn more about Peninsula Home Care and the community health worker program and services, visit www.peninsulahomecare.com or call Kelly English at 410-543-7550.