‘Mother Hens’ and health reform
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Just about every community group has a “mother hen” – a trusted elder to whom people turn with questions, and who can connect them with services — as one community health advocate describes it for Illinois Health Matters. Such grassroots leaders will be crucial to the success of health reform, according to a new report for IHM’s Neighborhood Stories.
Especially in underserved areas, community groups have important work to do as health reform rolls out – educating community members, helping them navigate the new system, and providing feedback to health providers.
Some of that work is underway. This summer the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition and other groups held a webinar on health reform for 100 people representing community groups. Erie Neighborhood House is discussing workshops for its clients on health reform.
Neighborhood Stories also features a new photo essay, Wellness on the Westside, looking at the work of the Lawndale Christian Health Center and profiling one of the center’s clients, Eliazar Mejia.