A new healthcare effort in Central Falls is getting a boost. A program called the Neighborhood Health Station has won a grant to pay for outreach workers to prevent overdose deaths and reduce emergency room use.
Former health department director and Central Falls community health organizer Dr. Michael Fine says a new $100,000 dollar grant from the Rhode Island Foundation will help hire two outreach workers to improve community heath in Central Falls. The first will follow up with residents who called for an ambulance within the past few days, “… to make sure they have access to primary care and to help them get a primary care appointment if they don’t have a regular primary care physician," says FIne.
The second outreach worker will visit the homes of people who have survived an accidental drug overdose to make sure they have the overdose reversal drug Narcan and that they know how to get substance abuse treatment if they want it.
The outreach workers are part of a larger effort to connect community health services in Central Falls. The program, called the Neighborhood Health Station, is based at Blackstone Valley Community Health Center and involves services from emergency medical technicians to housing authority officials. Fine says the idea is not only to serve patients who come to the clinic but to reach out to people in the community who are at risk for poor health.