At Inova, we believe no one should have to forego medical care because of finances. That’s why we built our Inova Cares Clinics for Families (ICCF). These comprehensive clinics provide qualifying uninsured or underinsured people with our exceptional care at no cost.
The ICCF thrives because of dedicated physicians, nurses and support staff who work tirelessly each day. But there’s another key player in our mission to care for our communities: our community health workers.
Inova’s community health workers spend most of their time outside the walls of our clinics. They make connections with individuals in our community, guiding them toward the care and support they need. They’re the hands, feet and faces who meet residents where they live, work, play and worship.
A Whole-Person Approach to Wellness
A community is only as healthy as the people living in it. And good health starts with quality medical care and having what you need for daily life. These needs include transportation, food and paying rent or utility bills. Helping people meet these needs are the foundation of what Inova’s community health workers do each day.
“Our job as community health workers is about helping people get healthcare, but it’s much more than that,” says Gustavo Veira, Inova community health worker. “We are advocates for our community members, getting them in touch with services that can make a positive difference for them and their families.”
Community Outreach Makes the Difference
Inova’s community health workers frequently attend local events, where they talk to residents and make personal connections. Health festivals, food distribution opportunities and school events are a few of the places you might spot Inova’s community health workers in the crowd.
“We meet people at these community events and chat with them about their lives and their families,” says Jacquelin Portillo, Inova community health worker. “We often find out that people avoid healthcare for years because of cost. They don’t know that there’s a service available that provides medical care at no cost to them. Community events are our chance to connect with them and help them get the care they need.”
The Power of Human Connection
“Building trust with people is an important part of our job as community health workers,” says Portillo. “People need to know that they can trust you and that you’re looking out for their well-being. That’s why we show up, again and again, at community events like food distribution or back-to-school gatherings. They start to recognize us and know that we’re there for them.”
These relationships extend beyond physical health. Inova’s community health workers are also helping people in our communities feel seen and validated.
“We build bridges with community members as they get to know us,” says Veira. “With time, they realize that we truly care about their well-being. Then they may tell friends or family members about the clinic, and we have the opportunity to help even more people.”
Inova’s Financial Assistance Program
Our team takes extra steps to make clinic appointments convenient and stress-free. We can often schedule a patient’s financial assistance appointment the same day as their medical visit. And many times, we can tell someone right away if they qualify for financial aid. “Once they are approved for financial aid, the worry of a medical bill is off their shoulders,” says Portillo.
To get started with Inova’s Financial Assistance Program, patients need proof of residence and proof of income. Financial assistance approvals are valid for six months, which means patients don’t have to reapply at every visit. “The financial aid process is easy, and it’s the gateway to helping people get the care they need,” says Portillo. “Inova Cares Clinic for Families is a life-changing service, and we’re proud to be part of it.”
Learn more about Inova Cares Clinic for Families and find a location near you.