This month the Antigua Health Clinic partnered with the Social Work Program on a two-day preventative health care training. Learning about and practicing preventative health care is one of the best ways to prevent diseases from developing or becoming a family crisis.
Dr. Miriam Alvarez, one of the Antigua Clinic doctors and one of the facilitators of the training explains that, “the first step in implementing preventative health care with our families is to work with our key collaborators, the Common Hope social workers, because they are the first contacts with our families and play a crucial role in orienting them.”
All thirteen Antigua social workers participated in the training and are now ready to include what they learned in their regular visits with families. “As part of our work of accompanying families, there are many general health issues that we already cover in our visits and it was really important for us to receive this training to deepen our understanding so we can serve our families in a more comprehensive way, ” said Patty Ramirez, Antigua Social Work Program Manager. A key component of preventative health care is to diagnose and treat the illness before it develops into a more severe disease. Having our social workers equipped with this information will help them watch for the early signs of the most common illnesses and refer them to the clinic for treatment or look to environmental conditions that can be improved in the home to prevent the illnesses from developing in the first place.
The Antigua Clinic offers programs and services that address many of the health challenges our families face, but not everyone takes full advantage of them. This collaboration between the Health Care and Social Work Programs is also an effort to better inform and encourage families to participate in programs such as our Early Childhood Wellness Program, Prenatal Care, Cervical Cancer Prevention, Diabetes and Hypertension Programs, and of course our general primary care.
This is just one step in providing families with the tools, knowledge, resources and care they need to stay healthy and focused on achieving long term goals of building a better life and a more hopeful future. We look forward to seeing how these coordinated strategies develop in the coming months and in our planning for the upcoming year.