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Community Health

Enlace maximizes local resources and builds the capacity and continuing education of community health workers (CHWs) to promote holistic wellness and equity, prevent chronic disease, and increase access to high-quality healthcare, healthy food and other resources.

Community Health Workers

Enlace trains and employs community leaders as Community Health Workers (CHWs), or Promotorxs de Salud. A CHW is a public health worker who is a trusted member of the community in which they work; this allows them to serve as liaisons between residents and providers, and to validate the knowledge, culture and traditions of local families. Enlace CHWs provide health education and peer support groups, and they support community members with enrolling in public benefits and health insurance and navigating the healthcare and social service systems. They are able to provide referrals for a range of resources and services that address community members’ comprehensive needs, and they are very familiar with resources that undocumented individuals and/or mixed immigration status families can access. Their trusted relationships with community members and in-depth knowledge of and connection to partner organizations reinforces the likelihood that people will successfully access what they need. Their work leads to better access to services, improved quality of service delivery and improved health outcomes.

To learn more about our Promotorxs, click here.

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Organizing and Advocacy

Enlace staff facilitate nutrition, healthy cooking and gardening workshops in community hubs across the neighborhood, and they participate in local collaborations, like the Little Village Gardeners Coalition and Mercado de Colores, that bring organizations and leaders together to increase access to fresh, healthy food. They also support community leaders in maintaining and activating community and school gardens, as well as the rooftop garden of Enlace’s main office. These spaces provide opportunities for healthy food production, safe outdoor recreation, community-based education and community building. They also serve as powerful models for sustainable practices and conservation, and they engage youth and families in environmental education through collaborations with key partners. Gardeners gather weekly throughout the growing season, and each site hosts family-friendly workshops, classes, trainings, volunteer days and celebrations. Garden design and activities are relevant to and respectful of the diverse cultures and traditions of Little Village families, and they promote the preservation of traditional knowledge and practice.

 

Gardens directly supported by Enlace include:​

  • 6062Trees: Sembrando Bajo el Sol: Trumbull and 26th

  • Mr. Keeler’s Pumpkin Eaters/El Jardín de la Calabaza: 25th and Keeler

  • El Jardin de los Cielos: 28th and Harding (the rooftop of Enlace’s main office)

To volunteer in the gardens, click here.

Organizing and Advocacy

Enlace’s efforts to promote a healthy community are driven by community leaders. Most of the Enlace health team staff and a large percentage of Promotorxs and garden leaders are Spanish-dominant, immigrant mothers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the initiatives of this focus area. Promotorxs take extensive training, and Enlace created a version of its Leadership Academy tailored to local Promotorxs. Leaders have focused on supporting organizing efforts and policy advocacy campaigns focused on improving access to healthcare for community members who are uninsured and/or undocumented. The relationships that community health workers (CHWs) have built with service providers and their participation at coalition tables and in campaigns is essential for ensuring that systems and policy change is informed and driven by the people who are directly impacted by the issues or are closely connected to the community members who are.

 

Enlace’s community health team facilitates Promoviendo, Abogando, y Educando por la Salud (PAES), a network of predominantly Spanish-speaking Latinx/e CHWs based in Little Village that coordinates peer support, training, professional development and health advocacy efforts. While PAES includes partner and provider institutions, it is primarily a platform for CHWs to build collective voice and power. It holds Enlace’s CHW model accountable to a broad community of stakeholders and fosters the growth of the local CHW movement. To learn more about PAES click here.

For more information about the Enlace Leadership Academy, click here.

Partnerships

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CommunityHealth is a free clinic and medical home for adults who are uninsured and living on low incomes.

CommunityHealth at Enlace provides:

  • Check-up and lab work (temperature, blood pressure, height, weight, blood sugar, etc.).

  • In-person or video visit with a CommunityHealth primary or specialty care provider.

  • Referrals to other CommunityHealth services, like dental and pharmacy.

What does it cost?


There is no fee for services at CommunityHealth at Enlace.
 

To qualify for care:

  • You must have no health insurance.

  • You must not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

  • Your income must be at or below 300% of the

  • Federal Poverty Level (*For example, it is $83,250 for a family of four, and $40,770 for an individual.).

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