November 2016
Press release
Pittsburgh, PA


Program Illustrates How Health Workers Can Impact Individual’s Access to Healthcare Services

Pittsburgh, November, 2016 -- Gateway Health and Wellbridge Health are pleased to announce an innovative collaboration to evaluate the impact that community health workers (CHW’s) can have on individuals’ access to healthcare. The program, called REACH (Role in improving member Experience, Access/Utilization and Cost), is a six-month pilot which began in November 2016 and will be targeted to the East End neighborhoods of Garfield, Homewood, East Liberty, and Wilkinsburg.

“We are tremendously excited to partner with Gateway Health to provide an effective and scalable program to improve access to healthcare and quality of life for individuals who may have found this to be challenging for a variety of medical and socio-economic reasons.” says Pamela Greenhouse, vice president of clinical operations at Wellbridge Health.

During the course of the program, trained CHWs will assess the needs of a select cohort of Gateway Health members between the ages of 18 and 64,  who receive benefits through Gateway’s HealthChoices Medicaid managed care plan. The REACH program will involve monthly face-to-face visits between the CHWs and participating members.

"Both Gateway and Wellbridge have a strong commitment to the community and a similar mission to help those consumers facing the greatest challenges, many of whom are Gateway members,” said Patti Darnley, President and CEO of Gateway Health.  “The REACH program is just another indication of how powerful partnerships can directly impact and benefit both our members and their communities.”

“The community health worker program aligns perfectly with Wellbridge's social work-driven model for engaging vulnerable individuals and populations as full partners in affecting behavior change in a way that acknowledges the day-to-day realities and barriers these individuals face,” says Greenhouse. “Programs such as this are a win-win-win – addressing experience, quality and satisfaction, as well as health outcomes, and cost.”

The outcomes and potential success of the REACH program will drive future decisions on the continuation and/or expansion of the program throughout other Gateway Health service areas.