Sidney, Montana – In an effort to improve access to services in the community, Sidney Health Center has added a Community Health Worker to the Patient Experience Team. Cristina Annett successfully completed training and obtained a certificate in Community Health Worker Fundamentals.
By definition, a Community Health Worker is a frontline worker who is a trusted member of the community and has a good understanding of the community they serve. This relationship enables Cristina to serve as a liaison between health, social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
A good example of how Cristina can assist community members occurred last month. Cristina was contacted by the public health department with a request to help a patient apply for assistance. This patient was in desperate need of medical attention for an infection and diabetic medication. Due to lack of insurance, the patient was experiencing delays in receiving medical care.
With no internet or place to go for help, the gentleman was struggling to complete the Medicaid application. Cristina helped him fill out the paperwork and served as an advocate on his behalf by communicating with the State office. She was able to explain the urgency and importance of getting the patient insured. With Cristina’s support, the patient was approved with full-coverage health insurance and received the medical care and medication that he needed.
In addition to her Community Health Worker training, Cristina has successfully completed the Montana Family Support Program Level 2 training including:
- Trauma informed care
- Preventing adverse childhood experiences
- Child development and substance use
- Addressing stigma and substance abuse
- Child welfare and substance use
In this role, Cristina is committed to continual learning and is currently taking Behavioral Health Training which includes:
- Depression screening for older adults
- Adult mental health
- Children’s mental health
- Grief and loss
- Recovery and support for women involved with criminal justice
As noted, Cristina is passionate about helping others with their individual needs. She can assist in accessing medical services, interpreting, translation, social support and has tremendous knowledge on the programs offered throughout the state of Montana.
Through this program, Sidney Health Center is committed to building individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy.
To learn more about this service, Cristina can be reached directly at 406.488.2096 or via email at Cristina.Annett@sidneyhealth.org.