Closing the Gap on Health Disparities as a Community Health Worker

Posted on: April 3, 2024Central CA CHF

Hello! My name is Joseph Carrasco and I am serving as a Community Health Worker (CHW) at Aria Community Health Center in Lemoore, California. At my host site, I help plan and execute outreach events in underserved communities throughout Kings County. At our events, I strive to provide community members with a positive and meaningful interaction. Our goals are to provide community members with health education based on their personal needs and the health resources that our clinics provide. In doing so we hope to leave a lasting impact and improve the health of individuals within the community. 

What an event typically looks like for me is we begin by tabling in an area that is easily accessible to community members. At our table, we survey each member and screen for the social determinants of health. This is important as it helps us assess what the individual may need and it allows us to provide them with the correct health education resources. For example, if a community member indicates they have hypertension we may provide them with health education on hypertension and ways to manage it. We also provide at-home Covid-19 testing kits and health education related to Covid-19 to all community members. Lastly, we may also provide information about the different services that our clinics provide based on what the community member needs.

In doing our screenings, we have found that some of the communities we serve do not have a grocery store and face transportation issues to the grocery stores in the nearby towns. This is a huge barrier therefore, we host two food distributions a month in Stratford and Kettleman City. At our food distributions, we typically hand out 100 food bags and provide enough food for a family to create a meal. Another impactful event we hold is our mobile clinic. We recently had our mobile clinic at West Hills College here in Lemoore. At this event, we provided students with blood pressure checks, glucose checks, enrollment counseling, and health education resources. This was a rewarding event because many students were unaware of their blood pressure and glucose readings. With the mobile clinic, we were able to educate them on what a healthy blood pressure/glucose reading looks like and ways to keep them at a healthy level. 

Serving as a Community Health Worker has been a rewarding experience for me thus far. It has allowed me to grow professionally and learn what it means to work as a CHW. I have gained confidence in this field while working with the community and advocating for their needs. As I finish my term with Aria Community Health Center I want to continue to learn and leave a lasting impact on the health of the community. 

About the Author:

Joseph Carrasco

Member Name: Joseph Carrasco

Pronouns: He/Him/His

NHC Program: NHC Central California - Community Health Fellowship

Host Site: Aria Community Health Center

Position Title: Community Health Fellow

Where are you from?: 
I was born in Clovis California but I have lived and grown up in Fowler, California my entire life.
This is the place that I consider home.

Host Site

209/140 C Street
Lemoore, CA 93245