HCR Cares has engaged with more than 30 leaders at predominantly Black churches to increase utilization of home health care services.
This effort is part of HCR Care’s diverse care project (DCP), which is designed to help Black residents over age 65 overcome barriers that have kept them from receiving home health care tailored to their individual needs. HCR Cares is educating and informing church leaders about health disparities to share with their congregations.
A partnership among HCR Cares, Strategic Community Intervention LLC and HCR Home Care, the project also involves increasing connections to physicians to improve trust in the health care system, making health care information more readily available and helping to address beliefs that may delay early medical intervention.
“Individuals who receive home health care have better health outcomes than those who do not have home health care,” said Deanna McEwen, LPN, diverse care project founder, HCR Cares. “Unfortunately, home care is underutilized in the Black community, resulting in poorer health outcomes. Collaborating with church leaders, we are working to increase access to home care, which can help improve health outcomes.”
“The statistics have shown us that a lot of people are not accessing health care in the manner in which they should’” explains Willie Lightfoot, Pastor of Prayer House Church of God. “I’m encouraging my congregation to access health care in their home, where they are comfortable, with professional providers who can meet their needs.”
Funding for this project was provided by Greater Rochester Health Foundation, whose mission is to pursue and invest in solutions that build a healthier region where all people can thrive, and from The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation.
“To get through the COVID-19 pandemic, the churches had to move in a lot of different ways… We found programs for children, we found programs for young adults. Unfortunately, many have forgotten about our seniors. This program helps address this need,” said Sebrone O. Johnson, Senior Pastor of the Greater Harvest Church.
HCR Cares (hcrcares.org) is a donor-funded 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1979 with the mission to address barriers to independent living through research, education and innovative programs. Their mission statement notes the company is “dedicated to ensuring quality home-based health care that is safe, culturally congruent, and successful for diverse populations.”
A video about this program is available on the HCR Cares website: https://www.hcrcares.org/signature-initiatives