Community Health Education:
Bridging Knowledge and Social Justice
Since its inception in the 1980s in the Fruitvale District in Oakland, the Community Health Education (CHE) Department has been committed to implementing preventive approaches to improve the health and quality of life of individuals, families and community members. Today, CHE has expanded to provide services in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties.
At its core, CHE envisions healthy and safe communities where all people are valued, have access to holistic care, are engaged in their local communities, play an active role in their own health as well as their family’s health, and contribute towards empowered and vibrant neighborhoods.
We understand that the strongest predictors of health and well-being in our communities are the social determinants of health such as food access, housing, transportation, and education. That’s why we design and implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at identifying patient needs and linking them to resources so they can thrive. We also actively promote leadership development and community engagement through special projects such as getting-out-to-vote outreach, census outreach, public charge education, and advocacy targeting immigrant and other vulnerable communities.
We also use a variety of other tools and curricula to achieve our objectives, including:
- Escuela de Promotor@s (“School of Community Health Worker”) curriculum in adult Promotor@s cohort training to build capacity of our workforce,
- Youth Brigade Violence Prevention and Tobacco use Prevention programs to engage our youth
- Community Action Model (CAM) utilized as an advocacy tool to promote policy change,
- A variety of curricula used to promote healthy and active living and mental health-wellness among other topics,
- Enrollment assistance and promotion of health care coverage.
- Other preventive services including HIV/AIDS Services
These programs are instituted at La Clínica to complement clinical services, promote internal-external collaboration, as well as linkage to care and resources. CHE has expanded to provide Patient Navigation to high risk patients, at the hospital emergency room and inpatient discharge, high risk patients with mental health conditions at two of La Clínica’s medical sites and for HIV(+) patients. The Transitions Clinic conducts community outreach and navigation for patients and community members with a recent history of incarceration.
We are proud of our long-standing history and are deeply grateful for the dedication of our team and our community for their invaluable energy, passion, and contribution as catalysts of change towards health, equity and social justice for all.