Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Geistown most of my life. I went to a private Christian high school where I met my husband. We reconnected in college and have been together 14 years and married for 8 years. We have two kids (ages 7 and 5) and a Rottweiler mix that we rescued from the woods in the middle of winter 2011. I have been doing social work for about 10 years now and became a Lead Staff two years ago as a Service Coordinator for those with physical disabilities. I have been the Community Health Worker (CHW) Supervisor for about a year now.
What drew you to the CHW Supervisor position in the first place? Do you have any experiences that have helped and/or prepared you for this role?
My program manager came to me when the position became available feeling it was a good suit for me. After looking into it, I saw an opportunity to assist employees in an area that interests me. I worked with kids a lot in the past as a TSS and Daycare Manager and have seen the impact a “helping hand” can provide to those young ones struggling in the school system. It is very rewarding to hear stories from my staff about how they are helping children in the school district get connected to services that could help them grow in the community. I haven’t worked with many pregnant moms, but saw an opportunity that would grow my knowledge through the eyes of the CHWs and have enjoyed hearing all the success stories.
What does being a CHW Supervisor mean to you?
Being a Supervisor with any position means being available and support to those you supervise. Our CHWs have a tough job and maybe don’t get enough credit. I am always readily available to assist the CHWs throughout the week if anything comes up. I also understand this job can be taxing on your mental health and make sure my staff utilize resources available to them as well. Being a supervisor means understanding and being supportive.
What is the most rewarding part of being a CHW Supervisor?
The success stories are the most rewarding part. It’s nice to see the hard work of staff be spotlighted or reported to upper management. Our CHWs are very knowledgeable in resources available to their clients and build a strong rapport with them.
What is the most challenging/difficult part of being a CHW Supervisor?
Having a CHW stuck with how to assist a client is challenging. The housing and transportation barriers are a huge struggle many deal with. A lot of clients deal with landlords who don’t repair damage in the home and there is no accountability to fix the issues such as mold or broken appliances. A lot of clients feel stuck because there is nowhere else to go. Clients need jobs to support their families but have no way there or struggle with childcare which has proven a bigger problem since COVID-19. It’s hard when a CHW is running into the same road blocks and exhausting all resources available. It also makes the clients feel defeated as well because their trying to benefit themselves and their children but are running into constant road blocks.