July 1, 2024

All About Health Education: Angélica Gómez

The Health Education team attended the ILCHWA Chicago Summit: The Voices of Community Health Workers

CommunityHealth is more than a free clinic

And it’s all thanks to our Health Education team!

The Health Education team here at CommunityHealth hosts weekly workshops on holistic health and integrative wellness, tables at likeminded community-based organizations to resource map with community members, registers people as new patients with our clinics, and more. 

The Health Education team were key leaders in CommunityHealth’s deployment of mobile care units to police precincts, where they supported migrants in their transition to Chicago. The Health Education team welcomed asylum seekers in their native language of Spanish with open hearts and offered a familiar face from the communities and countries they migrated from, many of which coming from Venezuela where our Health Education & Outreach Manager is from.

Through the culturally competent, compassionate care of our Health Education team, CommunityHealth meets our patients where they are in, in their own neighborhoods, and in their native languages.

In the intersectional health care safety net, we ensure a truly effective continuum of care by serving patients both inside and outside of clinic doors with regard to Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), through workshops like the Healthy Homes initiative that our Community Health Worker Angélica Gómez leads.

Angélica believes that Health Education means “community and support in a nonjudgmental way, meeting people where they are in their health journey and walking alongside them to reach their goals.”
Her favorite memory as a Community Health Worker so far is the Zumba break at the Illinois Community Health Worker Conference, where she learned that our team can really dance… and not just during our own free Zumba workshops that we hold for patients!
“Health Education is so important to provide care and education for the many people that our city depends on. A lot of times I hear uninsured, underserved, and undocumented people say they feel left behind or dismissed, but not at CommunityHealth. “
Even after more than a year with CommunityHealth, Angélica is just getting started with her goals to build a healthier, more resilient Chicago. And she knows that the Health Education team can achieve anything it puts its mind to with its “small but mighty team!”
She hopes “to expand our outreach to more neighborhood events throughout Cook County,” which aligns with CommunityHealth’s initiative in its three-year strategic plan to open a fourth microsite by the end of 2024.

As we continue to grow, it’s essential that we remain grounded in our intention to serve the whole person with a patient-centered approach. CommunityHealth recognizes that cultural competency starts with leaders that comes from the communities served, and which is why our Health Education is one of the most transformative services for patients, where our team represents our patient populations, always with a smile.

Angélica creates safe, empowering spaces when registering new patients or resource mapping with community members, explaining that… 

“I make sure to greet patients with a smile and introduce myself in either Spanish or English. I will share a bit about myself and let patients know my role and what I can assist them with at CommunityHealth. I also share how they can reach me if they have any questions or concerns.”

Quality health care for all is made a reality thanks to health care providers that lead with their humanity, like Angélica.

As the largest volunteer-based free health clinic in the nation, serving primary care and over 20 specialty care services to the uninsured, underserved, and undocumented in their 3 native languages at 3 locations across Chicago, CommunityHealth prioritizes clinicians with lived experience that represent the communities we serve.

With free classes offered weekly, including Take Action! Diabetes Management and Bienestar para Mujeres, the Health Education team is always open to new volunteers excited to host workshops relating to fitness, nutrition, emotional wellness, art, and holistic health.

Learn more about what the Health Education offers here at CommunityHealth and apply to volunteer!