The Floreciente community is known for being culturally vibrant but a community health assessment last fall found behind closed doors, some neighbors are struggling to access the healthcare they need for their quality of life.
That’s why an initiative is underway to remove barriers to medical needs in that community.
Unity Point Health-Trinity teamed up with Global Communities.
The goal is to build trust, inform on where to get care and overcome the language barrier.
“This is our first opportunity to partner with global communities and to look at a neighborhood and to help promote health and wellness,” said Trinity’s Parish Nurse Manager Linda Guebert.
That’s why Carolina Granja is busy working in this neighborhood.
She began the role of a Community Health Advocate in February to serve as a point of contact for medical needs.
Granja said by sharing a language and culture it helps people to open up about their needs and then she can help get time access other services.
Community Health Advocate Carolina Granja said, “They are really interested because they are ‘oh I can learn more about my diabetes and how can I live with diabetes.”
The role was developed after a Community Health Assessment in the fall of 2018 that highlighted the needs in the Floreciente Neighborhood.
Granja told Local 4 News she started working in hospitals while living in Mexico.
It was a career her mother encouraged her to enter.
Then she came to the United States and started studying nursing. She earned her certified nursing assistant degree last year through Black Hawk College.
Since starting this job, Granja said one thing she’s experienced is a bit of hesitancy for people to reach out to doctors.
Granja said, “Even they tell me when I’m taking blood pressure, no I don’t believe in doctors. And I say, yes you can believe because it’s for your own health… so you need to believe in the doctors and take care of your health.”
Part of her work will include classes and educational sessions in the community to help share knowledge on healthcare.
“Asking if they’re interested in some classes because I will teach some classes. Like right now I’m doing head lice, I’m teaching at boys and girls club I did hair lice, dental care,” said Granja.
The Foreciente Neighborhood includes about 1,300 people.