Maria’s Story: Making Community Resource Connections

Maria faced several serious health issues including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and anemia. Her husband had recently lost his job, resulting in financial hardship. With no car, Maria had difficulty getting to medical appointments, and her apartment needed multiple repairs. These issues weighed heavily on Maria and her mental and physical health worsened.
Maria's Success Story Photos

Fortunately, a program called Neighborhood Networks is helping people just like Maria and Javier. Neighborhood Networks deploys community health workers—known as navigators—to conduct in-person meetings with people who have unmet health and social needs and connect them with community resources.

Aida, a navigator with Neighborhood Networks, was asked by Maria’s health plan, Health Net, to meet with her to see if she could help. Aida worked with Maria to learn more about her health and social needs. Aida connected Maria to Health Net’s transportation service, which enabled her to regularly attend medical appointments. She helped Maria apply for CalFresh benefits and arranged for her to receive a gift card, groceries, and nutrition assistance from a local resource center.

Aida assisted Maria and Javier to move from commercial health plan coverage to Medi-Cal, which reduced their monthly health insurance costs by almost 60 percent. She provided Javier with employment information and connected them with a housing representative, who arranged to make necessary home repairs. Aida also helped Maria address her feelings of depression and sadness by connecting her with Es Dificil Ser Mujer (It’s Difficult Being a Woman), a local program that addresses depression and mental health for Latinas.

With Aida’s help, Maria’s physical and mental health are getting better. Her kidney disease showed signs of improvement at her last medical visit and, with additional food and nutrition resources, her anemia has also improved. Maria has joined a support group with women from Es Dificil Ser Mujer, which has reduced her feelings of depression and sadness.

Client names and images have been changed to protect privacy

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