Tanisha Jones didn’t realize she was three months pregnant when she moved to Toledo with her three children in search of more education and a fresh start.
Three months later, Tanisha found out she was pregnant. That meant Tanisha didn’t get prenatal care for two trimesters, and she had just three months to prepare for her baby.
“I knew I would need some type of support,” recalls Tanisha, who was working at Subway and living with a relative because she couldn’t find stable housing.
Christine Brown – a community health worker who was employed by East Toledo Family Center when she assisted Tanisha – provided the additional support Tanisha and her family needed. Christine helped Tanisha get housing assistance, food, diapers, a pack ‘n play and more.
Prince was born a couple of weeks early, but he was a healthy 6 pounds, 5 ounces and is thriving.
“She’s an angel living on Earth,” Tanisha says of Christine. “I wouldn’t have gotten through this without her.”
Community Health Workers
Lucas County has dozens of community health workers (CHWs) and other home visitors who are part of Toledo-Lucas County Getting to 1, the local Ohio Equity Institute team working to help Lucas County women have healthy babies and reduce infant mortality. Staff at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio’s Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB lead Getting to 1.
East Toledo Family Center is part of the Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB care coordination system. Community health workers, who connect low-income residents to needed medical and social services, are key to the system.
Every Pathways HUB client is partnered with a community health worker. They work together to ensure clients have the resources they need to take charge of their health.
Christine meets one-on-one with her clients at least once a month. Even after Prince was born, Christine continued meeting with Tanisha to provide health education, help getting financial coaching and employment, and prepare for furthering her education – and her future.
Tanisha, who wants to become a registered nurse, says she wouldn’t have gotten her life back on track without Christine.
“I think I would still be in a rut,” Tanisha says. “I don’t know what I would have done.”