Urgent : Community Workers will get a $8 million grant to improve access to care


 Community Health Workers will get an $8 million grant to improve access to care

24 groups will benefit from grants from Bristol Myers Squibb to support and train community health workers and patient navigators to improve healthcare access for the medically underserved.

Bristol Myers Squibb has announced that it has awarded over $8 million in grants to 24 non-profit organizations that are working to improve healthcare access for marginalized communities by educating community health workers and patient navigators.

The funding will assist patient access in four therapeutic areas: oncology, cardiology, immunology, and hematology, to name a few.

Bristol Myers Squibb has agreed to donate $150 million over the next five years as part of the D&I Health Equity Commitment, which will address health inequities, clinical trial diversity, and representation in the medical research field.

Bristol Myers Squibb has donated $11 million in the last year to organizations working on similar issues including healthcare access and inequality. The foundation has pledged more than $39 million in total.

The funding will help community health workers and patient navigators strengthen community outreach and education, improve patient support and care coordination services, and foster collaboration among community health workers and patient navigators.

"Bristol Myers Squibb is focused on growing what works in addressing barriers that patients may face while receiving care through our Health Equity Commitments grants and partnerships," stated Adam Lenkowsky. senior vice president and general manager of Bristol Myers Squibb's U.S. Cardiovascular, Immunology, and Oncology.

"We recognize that the complexity of specialist care provide particular issues that community health workers and patient navigators can assist in addressing." They are well-liked members of their communities with extensive understanding of health systems, and they are critical in ensuring that medically disadvantaged patients receive high-quality care, including access to medical breakthroughs and clinical trials," Lenkowsky added.

Community health workers have made significant contributions to addressing the social determinants of health that affect marginalized populations. They are frontline healthcare personnel who have been trained to assist the community in which they live or with which they have a close relationship.

Because they share similar cultures, languages, and life experiences, community health professionals can make crucial connections with underrepresented populations.

Ohio University recently teamed with the Jackson Country Health Department to train community healthcare workers in some Ohio cities.

Residents of Southeast Ohio face health inequities such as a higher prevalence of chronic illnesses, putting them at a higher risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes. By strengthening health literacy in these communities, community health professionals can improve health outcomes for underserved groups.

Community health professionals, according to the release, are critical to improving health measures.

"Sometimes people don't necessarily trust health care and authority in the region," Keri Shaw, an associate professor at Ohio University, said in a press release. "These are people who speak and look like them who are being taught and returning to their communities to help them become healthier."


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