Posted by Willy Franzen on March 29, 2009. Jobs updated daily.
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It’s no secret that poverty and poor health are deeply related. Limited access to healthcare is part of the reason, but there’s a lot more to the story. Nearly everything that we do in our lives has some bearing on our health outcomes, and a life in poverty creates factor after factor that leads to poor health outcomes. Project HEALTH is a non-profit organization that works in Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Providence, RI; and Washington, DC to break “the link between poverty and poor health.” Honestly, that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I think that poverty and poor health will forever be intertwined, but battling poverty will be the key to creating better health outcomes for lower-income people. I guess it all depends on how you define poverty.
Despite my confusion with Project Health’s tagline, I think that they’ve put together two awesome programs that show that they really do get it. The first is Family Help Desk, which offers clinics where “physicians can ‘prescribe’ food, housing, health insurance, job training, fuel assistance, or other resources for their patients as routinely as they do medication.” I always thought it was kind of silly that our medical system focused mostly on prescribing medication and not on making recommendations about other areas patients’ lives, so I think that Project HEALTH has nailed it here. It should be so surprise that:
The Family Help Desk’s straightforward, preventative referrals to government and community resources – such as affordable housing, child care, employment, GED classes, and job training – enable families to avert crises and to access increased income and education, which have been documented to result in better long-term health outcomes
It sounds like an amazing program! Project HEALTH’s second program is called STRIVE and it’s “an afterschool intervention that provides low-income teens with sickle cell disease with the mentoring, peer support, academic assistance, and disease management education they need to manage their condition effectively and realize their full potential.” It also sounds like it’s doing some impressive work. Another part of the Project HEALTH story is that most of their projects are staffed by college volunteers. On that note, they do have jobs beyond the volunteer level for those of you who have graduated. Project HEALTH’s Jobs page has 6 openings posted right now. 5 are as Family Help Desk Program Managers (in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Providence, and Washington, DC) which seem to require some prior work experience, while the other job is clearly entry level – Family Help Desk Program Assistant, Baltimore. You can find out how to apply from the job descriptions.
Links to Help You Begin Your Research
What do you think about Project HEALTH?
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