Hospital News

Community Health Workers Help Bridge the Service Gap


When it comes to helping residents bridge the gap between the services they need and their life at home, UPMC Western Maryland’s community health workers are proud to be that link. This specialized team is trained in many areas to help the residents of the communities we serve.  

“We are excited to reinvigorate this program,” said Carla Leedy, manager, UPMC Western Maryland Center for Clinical Resources. “The pandemic made it challenging as there is only so much you can do with a phone call. Gaining the trust of our residents and having them allow us in their homes is the key to our success.” 

The community health workers connect area residents who lack their own means with valuable services like:  

  • Scheduling appointments, getting referrals, and arranging transportation for health care needs. 
  • Providing guidance to help obtain resources to meet both social and health needs. 
  • Connecting to community services that can help improve quality of life. 
  • Assisting with the management of chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease, COPD, sepsis, and more. 
  • Reviewing domestic safety and making a plan to allow residents to remain at home. 
  • Working closely with primary care providers to develop a care plan to improve or maintain health and well-being. 
  • Being a coach to achieve a healthier lifestyle. 
  • Providing general support and answering questions from residents or care takers. 

“Being able to help people and make the community a better place is the best part about this work,” said Jannae Miller, community health worker. “Access to resources can be challenging and we are here for the community to build that bridge and help develop that bond.” 

The team assists approximately 50 people per month. “It is nice knowing that even if someone does not have anyone else, they have us,” said Amanda Wilson, community health worker.  

This service is free, though a referral from a health care provider is required. Call 240-964-1057 to learn more.