High Turnover of Staff and Residents Challenges Health Advocacy Efforts in a Baltimore Community

    • September 1, 2006

From early 2000 to early 2002, trained community health advocates conducted outreach efforts with residents of Sandtown-Winchester, a 72-block low-income neighborhood of Baltimore, to help them gain access to health insurance and needed services.

The grant to the Enterprise Foundation, a national nonprofit organization providing low to moderate-income housing, was used to train residents as community health advocates and to help fund staff positions related to community outreach.

It also included support for the development of a data collection system and an evaluation of the community health system.

Due to high staff turnover and concerns about its future financial sustainability, the community health system ceased activities in September 2002.

Key Results

  • Community health advocates made an estimated 140 to 280 contacts with residents per week over the two-year grant period.

  • The community health system funded and organized two street festivals focused on residents' health.

  • Very modest progress was made toward the goal of establishing a community-wide health management information system.