Success Stories: Chapter 6 – Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions
As part of the 2018-19 Qlarant Foundation grant program, Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions (ESWS) was awarded $35,000 to support its Community Health Outreach Worker Program. The grant will be used to provide care coordination for the program participants and their primary care provider, as well as to support resources that impact the social determinants of health. These can include, housing, food, and transportation. Since 2006, this organization has been providing services to marginalized and underserved populations in Dorchester County, Maryland.
The Community Health Outreach Worker Program operates by using non-clinical, trusted members of the community who have personal experiences with chronic disease and care management. Persons who have been professionally trained in the areas of Chronic Disease, Cultural Diversity, Motivational Interviewing, Ethics and Professionalism are also utilized. These workers help empower residents to advocate for themselves and their families’ health outcomes. The goals of the program are to advance health equity, reduce racial and health disparities among marginalized populations, improve quality healthcare access, and increase health outcomes. The program also features a Telemedicine component as an added resource and provides many community members with access to health consultations and screening reviews.
ESWS regularly holds community events designed to educate participants about healthy living and eating practices. As a part of the physical activities component for their Diabetes and Chronic Disease Self-Management program, some of the participants agreed to create and participate in a mock “Decathlon”. This event was developed as a part of the action plans for program participants and was devised to promote continued participation and group support among participants and their families after the programs and follow-up were concluded. Enrollees were encouraged to partner with someone from the group or bring a family member to participate with them in this all day team event. The “Decathlon” consisted of the numerous events, such as Basketball Hoops, Potato Sack Relay, and a Water Balloon Toss and ended with a Photo Scavenger Hunt. A healthy lunch and snacks were provided to the group and pedometers were given to each participant to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions’ Success Stories are evident in letters from their clients.
Success Story #1:
To whom it may concern:
My name is Louis Richardson and I was a resident of Mallard Bay (rehabilitation center and nursing facility). I was receiving physical therapy when I first came to know the work of your program. I often talked with Mr. Charles who was the gentleman who was always raving about your work, friendly staff, and the helpful and kind nature of the people who were helping him. I never really got your individual names from him, as he lovingly always called you all his friends and helpers.
I did a little research, asked a few questions and got a phone number and address, so I am writing this letter because I wanted to let you know that services like yours are so few and far between, but are so helpful to so many people. I was encouraged by just seeing that RED jacket come into the building and your staff visit the people. I even remembered some time ago your staff coming in to bring bags of fruit to the residents for the holiday and delivering one to my sister.
I am not sure of all that you do, but I wish I knew of you then, as you could have been a source of comfort to my sister, just as I noticed you being to others at Mallard Bay.
Please know that your work in this community is not going unnoticed. Thank you for helping the people that you help and for being an encouragement to me.
Success Story #2:
To whom it may concern:
Hi, my name is Mamie Brummell and I am a member of the Hurlock Senior Center. I have been a member for two years during which I had the pleasure of knowing Joyce Opher. Miss Joyce has been a big help to me in controlling my blood pressure. I was having a hard time keeping my blood pressure down, so I talked to Miss Joyce about my meds and she started me talking to my doctor about my blood pressure. As a result of that, my doctor lowered the dose from 50 mg to 25 mg a day.
Miss Joyce has taught me to be an advocate for myself as far as discussing my health with my doctor. She has been a big help with healthy eating and exercise. I greatly appreciate her taking the time to do this with me. I would greatly appreciate it if this program continues.
With a targeted focus on families impacted by chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and asthma, Qlarant Foundation funding provides Self-Management training for individuals living with these health challenges. It also supports the organization’s ability to continue to go into the homes, complete assessments, and develop resources for those needing additional support.
“We are pleased to be a partner with Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions”, said Qlarant Foundation Board Chair, said Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian. “This organization proves that a very personal and hands-on approach to care for its clients really makes a difference to their well-being.”