A critical aspect of providing virtual services is to first ensure that community members who use our services know that MHP Salud is still operating. In this regard, the use of social media platforms for outreach has been extremely effective. Announcements that contain information on how community members can get in touch directly with CHWs are shared frequently and to great success. However, not everyone in the communities we serve uses social media on a regular basis. In order to reach these specific community members, our CHWs also contact current and past participants of MHP Salud programs with phone calls.
An example of how our programs are being adapted to be effective through phone calls can be seen in our Healthy Living program, Vivir una Vida Plena. The program focuses on the prevention and management of chronic diabetic kidney disease through group educational sessions. The CHWs in this program are providing printed packets of health information that they would typically go over in person. They deliver these packets to each individual who enrolls in the program using a no-contact drop off method to avoid putting anyone at risk of infection.
Interestingly, MHP Salud CHWs are also inadvertently teaching residents soft technology skills. For example, they are showing participants how to download and use apps to safely purchase groceries and other necessities. This allows our participants who are at high risk for COVID-19 to remain at home but still receive the things they need.
Additionally, our CHWs found themselves as a source of overall social support for their community members. The one on one calls CHWs are making to participants allow for engaging conversations that individuals appreciate considering the stress that comes with the disruption to daily life the coronavirus is causing.
Our CHWs are showing that they have the ability to adapt during the current COVID-19 situation. This is further proof that CHW programs are flexible enough to be implemented anywhere, under a variety of different circumstances. This also demonstrates that Community Health Workers have been, and continue to be, a vital lifeline for individuals who need health and social resources during crucial times.