Program focuses on healthcare equity for underserved communities in Pittsburgh area

Program focuses on healthcare equity for underserved communities in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — A Duquesne University professor is working to make it easier for people in underserved communities to get the healthcare they need.

Dr. Jennifer Elliott created the “Bridges to Health” program.

Recently, she received a $475,000 grant from the Hillman Foundation to help improve the health of people living in Hazelwood and Clairton.

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“The Duquesne Center for Integrated Health just launched a community health worker program, where we’ve actually hired residents living within Hazelwood and Clairton to join our healthcare team,” said Dr. Elliott.

Creating jobs and providing training has resulted in better overall health and well-being for families who previously struggled to find health care in their communities.

“The beautiful thing about this program is the equal partnership between the healthcare sector and our several partners in the community,” said Dr. Elliott.

The Bridges to Health program extends to community health centers and is also responsible for school-based health centers,

in particular, a much needed asthma program.

“In 2017 childhood asthma hospitalizations and hospitalizations received a very low score because of the stark differences in hospitalizations for black children compared to white children,” said Dr. Elliott.

The program is based on Dr. Elliott’s published research paper about creating a model to improve health and chronic disease prevention for people living in underserved areas.

“In essence, we are connecting an entire family to the medical world right there in their neighborhood,” she said.

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