Mercy Health and partners enhancing health care access

Press Staff Writer

        Recognizing the need to provide easy access to health care services, Mercy Health is proud to partner with the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio to bring accessible health care and wellness to the Lucas County community through the Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services.
        Between Mercy Health and Toledo/Lucas County CareNet, a community health worker (CHW) will be on-site at the Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services five days a week to link clients with helpful resources. The collaboration will strengthen the accessibility of social services and routine health care check-ups in the area.
        The Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services (LCDJFS), located at 3737 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo, determines eligibility for public assistance programs, such as SNAP and Medicaid, and further assists individuals and families by investing in local social service programming and educational resources to help move them to self-sufficiency. This work includes the promotion of access to health care and behavioral health care.
        “Mercy Health is consistently evaluating ways to make health care easier, especially for those who have challenges in accessing services, such as transportation issues,” said Cindy Pisano, supervisor, Mercy Health Healthy Connections. “Through this grant, Mercy Health is able to physically locate a community health worker in a location where there is the greatest impact.”
        CHWs will collaborate with the staff at LCDJFS to connect clients to an array of community resources, such as housing, financial planning, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, food, clothing and one-time medical referrals. Anyone who needs more in-depth assistance will be referred to the Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB, a community-wide care coordination system that includes Mercy Health and CareNet.
        “This partnership will help ensure Lucas County residents in need of medical or social services get connected to resources quickly,” said Carly Salamone, director of the Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB and senior director of Community Health Improvement at the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio. “Anyone needing more in-depth assistance can continue working one-on-one with a Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB community health worker, or we’ll refer them to another community program that better suits their needs.”
        “We are grateful to have a CHW in our lobby to assist individuals and families access resources to meet their basic needs. Given the ODJFS move to online and phone services, we are able to provide very limited face-to-face services in our lobby, which minimizes the opportunities to provide any sort of case management so many of our clients need,” said LCDJFS Director, Breda Osburn.


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