Food Insecurity Outreach Coordinator

Position Status

Open

Site

Pittsburgh

NHC Position Type

Outreach Coordinator

Position Summary

Food insecurity is present and growing in our country and our community. As of 2019, over 10% of Allegheny County residents, or over 126,000 people, are food insecure, with this rate likely climbing within the COVID pandemic. Furthermore, Black and Hispanic Americans are disproportionately affected by food insecurity; according to USDA data, 19.1% of Black households and 15.6% of Hispanic households experienced food insecurity in 2019.

In seeking to address this crucial need, our Family Health Center has partnered with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to launch universal food insecurity screening and intervention for our patients. Within this process, every patient receives a simple 2-question screening device before each office visit. If they screen positive for food insecurity, we offer them a food box from the Food Bank (about 20 shelf-stable meals). Since initiation, we have distributed over 200 food boxes, while also trying to connect these patients with sustainable food resources in our community such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and regional free farmer’s markets. Despite these efforts, many of our patients remain hungry and without sustainable food sources because they need more support connecting with local resources.  Connecting patients of the Family Health Center with food insecurity to sustainable food sources is the primary goal of this position.

The duties of this member service position include to: monitor and adjust the process of universal food insecurity screening within our office; maintain records of food insecurity screening rates, food boxes distributed, and a patient registry including those patients still needing support to connect with sustainable food resources; contact patients with food insecurity that are not connected to sustainable food resources and assist them in the application for WIC, SNAP, and/or other food resources; coordinate tracking, delivery, and distribution of food boxes with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank; form new partnerships with community organizations to bring new opportunities for sustainable food to our patients.

This position will report directly to a faculty physician of the UPMC Shadyside Family Medicine Residency Program whose work focuses on addressing Social Determinants of Health and serving vulnerable patient populations. The member will also be mentored by a social worker in our office, who has served our patients for over 18 years. Collectively, our care team serves a largely urban, underserved, and vulnerable patient population facing a number of Social Determinants of Health. The Shadyside Family Health Center is a safety net practice for patients from neighborhoods in Pittsburgh’s East End, most commonly East Liberty and Wilkinsburg.  Our patient population is approximately 60% Black.  Most of our patients are insured with a Medicaid or an ACA product.  This member will serve these patients on a daily basis. The position is unique and does not violate AmeriCorps regulations related to nonduplication and nondisplacement as it fills an unmet need to connect patients with food insecurity to local resources and support their transition to sustainable sources of nutrition.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collecting, recording, and evaluating data to inform education on health issue
  • Utilizing partnerships and data to coordinate referrals
  • Identifying new sites to provide resources and materials
  • Developing and maintaining monthly inventory reports
  • Collecting and tracking of data

Characteristics of an Ideal Candidate

  • Patient
  • Non-judgmental
  • Approachable
  • Good with diverse personalities
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Multi-tasker; ability to balance
  • Interest in health, social justice, and policy issues
  • Energetic
  • Team player
  • Commitment to social justice
  • Works well with others
  • Thinks creatively
  • Organized; sound organizational skills
  • Good customer service skills
  • Proficient computer and data entry skills (e.g., Microsoft suite)
  • Passion for health topics

Knowledge Required for the Position

  • Skill with Microsoft Office or other software for a variety of data processing operations involving a range of problem solving, record keeping, correspondence, and service tracking options

Supervision

  • The supervisor assigns service activities in terms of project objectives and basic priorities and is available for consultation in resolving controversial issues.

Review

  • The service activities are reviewed for accuracy through spot checks, through complaints from customers, and through observation of the Member at service.

Guidelines

  • Guidelines are generally applicable, but the Member independently makes adaptations in dealing with problems and unusual situations.

Complexity

  • The facts or conditions of the service position are clear cut, predictable, and apply directly to the assignment.

Purpose and Impact of Service Position Assignments

  • Member provides timely services of a personal nature to others.
  • The service position product or services affect the social, physical, and economic well-being of a substantial number of people on an ongoing basis.

Nature of Contacts

  • Community Organization - Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Purpose of Contacts

  • To give or exchange information

Special Considerations

  • Unusual physical demands involving climbing, lifting, stooping, and reaching, etc.
  • Capacity to lift a food box, approximately 20 lbs.

Criminal History Check Requirements Beyond NHC Standard Checks

In addition to NHC Standard Checks, all NHC Pittsburgh members are required to complete and pass criminal history checks for Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute/Diversified Care Management (DCM). Great Lakes/DCM is a third party vendor contracted with the Allegheny County Health Department (operating site for NHC Pittsburgh) to distribute NHC Pittsburgh member stipends. NHC Pittsburgh members are onboarded to Great Lakes/DCM system only when the checks have been completed and the member has passed those checks.  Along with these checks, ALL NHC Pittsburgh Members Are Required to be Vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The checks that all NHC Pittsburgh members would be required to complete and pass for Great Lakes/DCM are the following: 1) Act 33 (Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance), 2) National Sex Offender Registry Clearance,  3) Act 34 (Pennsylvania Criminal History Clearance, and 4) Act 73 (FBI Criminal History Clearance - ONLY completed via Identogo PA).

NHC members do not have to pay for the completion of these checks. Great Lakes/DCM will distribute payment codes for the Act 33 (Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance) and Act 73 (FBI Criminal History Clearance which is conducted through Identogo PA ( PA FBI fingerprinting agency). The National Sex Offender Registry Clearance and Act 34 (Pennsylvania Criminal History Clearance) will be completed by Great Lakes/DCM upon receiving requested information that members will be asked to submit.