Community Health Workers
In 2017, the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) awarded Spectrum Health Care a four-year grant. With those funds, Spectrum Health Care has developed Access For All – an outreach and data-driven program to assist patients in our region with access to safe, affirming, and culturally competent services in their area.
Community Health Workers Explained
A community health worker is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
A community health worker also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.
During the first three years of implementing this methodology, we have found that our clients are better served by utilizing this approach. To that end, Spectrum is in process of having all program staff be certified CHWs by the end of 2021, with all future program staff being certified as well.
Our Coverage Area
With initial funding for our Community Health Workers Program from Missouri Foundation for Health, we are currently focused on the Northeast and the Central regions. As funding develops further, it is probable that Spectrum will increase to cover more counties. Select the map to view larger image.
Our CHW Network/Certifications
Our Community Health Workers are involved with many associations, coalitions, and organizations throughout the region.
- National Association of Community Health Workers, NACHW
- Community Health Worker Association of Missouri
- Missouri Regional Community Health Worker Coalition
- Cover Missouri Coalition
- Central Missouri Recovery Coalition
Additionally, our Community Health Workers are certified by:
- Certified Application Counselor-ACA
- CLAIM certified Medicare counselor
- Certified Contract Tracer, Johns Hopkins University
Health Insurance Enrollment
Spectrum has had Community Health Workers undertaking the daunting task of reaching as many uninsured individuals as possible since 2015 when the Insurance Marketplace and Affordable Care Act went into effect. Our team links them to the options available and in many cases, assists with their application for health insurance. In 2020, even with interactions changed and made difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions, our CHWs assisted many individuals with Open Enrollment and other services that would allow for them to access medical care moving forward. This service is at the core of our CHW services – linkage to insurance as well as inclusive and respectful providers.
AFA Health Network
We have built a solid network of providers in primary care, dental, substance abuse treatment and mental health care practices. Within this network of providers, we offer: assistance to patients with locating and enrolling in insurance; referrals of patients; providers are included on all updates to medically relevant updates; provide co-pay and financial assistance and negotiated discounts for those that are un-/under-insured. Please note: Patients must connect through AFA with a referral to receive potential co-pay, financial assistance or negotiated discounts.
Access Family Health Care
America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses-Columbia
Bates County Memorial Hospital
Blessing Hospital Systems
Boone Hospital Center
Boone Physicians Services
Bowling Green Medical Group
Capital Region Physicians
Clark County Pharmacy
Community Health Center of Central Missouri
Compass Health Network-Columbia
County Market Pharmacy
DDS Dentures and Implants
Debra Renner, OD
DeFries Family Dental
Dr. Heather Meyer
Dr. Meyer Pain Clinic
Elaine Cheong, DDS
Fresh Start Sober Living
Hannibal Regional Hospital
Herman Area Hospital
International Eye Care-Mexico
Jefferson County Health Department
Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy
Long Branch Dental-LaPlata
Millennium Sleep Lab, LLC
Missouri Orthopedic Institute
Nick McHargue, DDS
Nikodem Dental-St. Louis
North East Regional Medical Group
Phelps County Hospital & Clinics
Pike County Medical Clinic
Pike County Memorial Hospital
Primaris Healthcare Business Solutions
Restoration Eye Care
St. Charles County Ambulance District
St. Louis University Physicians
MU Hospital & Clinics
Walmart Vision Center-Columbia
Walmart Vision Center-Kirksville
Even as we update this page, our team is working on a complete resource list of services in the coverage area. This directory will include all areas of need and services that patients and clients of Spectrum have requested. Message us below for more information.
Next Step – Transportation
In 2019, Spectrum conducted a Gap Assessment Survey of health care providers across the region to learn more about the individual providers, the associations, and partnerships between organizations, and to identify exactly where the service gaps are for our patients/clients/rural residents. Not surprisingly, transportation was confirmed to be a significant barrier for our rural residents in accessing healthcare and social services.
To that end, in our last year of this grant (2021) we will be launching a transportation program in the northeast 17 counties of our region. We are actively researching models and funding for this expansion. This program will focus on low-income, uninsured, and marginalized individuals unable to access transportation through other channels, such as Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation, veterans’ transportation assistance, and otherwise could not afford costs of needed transportation for health purposes.
Community Health Workers – Here For YOU!
Contact us if you find yourself lost in the vast landscape of healthcare. Our staff understands that locating services, providers, how to pay for these services, and everything in-between can be daunting, at best. That’s why we have developed a provider and resource referral system in your community to remove barriers to care.
We are your health care problem-solving team!