NEW YORK (PIX11) — Community health workers have been helping New Yorkers, from assisting in diabetes management and mental health to helping share resources to cut violence in NYCHA neighborhoods.
It’s a personal mission for Dina Dini from Staten Island. She lives at the South Beach houses and is a community health worker there. Her job is to help bring peace and healing to her neighborhood. She works for nonprofit Community Health Action of Staten Island.
She’s helping distribute mental health resources and coordinating workshops discussing gun violence prevention — making a big impact. Hundreds like her were specifically launched in NYCHA developments over two years ago, and now, 48 workers continue to serve at 44 NYCHA developments.
“We have seen a lot of progress of having CHW workers in NYCHA, which has led to higher vaccination rates,” said, Dr. Olusimbo Ige, NYC DOH assistant commissioner. “When they do their outreach they identify resources and then they connect them to mental health resources and for gun violence, a different set of workers, but we are using the same strategy.”
Among NYCHA residents, 92.2% of them have received at least one dose of vaccine (compared to 86.9% of residents citywide). The community health workers’ jobs are far from over. The pandemic is still going on, and Ige said their work must continue.
Watch the video player above for the full interview.