A community health advocate is a person who essentially acts as a patient consultant during the healthcare process. This involves assisting with insurance and treatment plans and working with hospital personnel and care providers. This is a position that can be staffed by a government agency, or the community health advocate can work for a non-profit organization.
This person will typically keep weekday, daytime hours, though it is not unheard of to work extended hours. A person in this position will generally work with other community health advocates, healthcare professionals, and social workers. This position generally requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field, as well as participation in continual education courses.
A community health advocate will have a variety of responsibilities related to their position, which can vary daily. Some typical duties and responsibilities include advocating for members of their community, supporting various citizens with endeavors in the community, promoting health and nutrition, ensuring proper health care, treating minor illnesses, ensuring proper care of pregnant women, ensuring proper care for children, providing family planning services, performing health education promotions, maintaining various records, referring citizens to various healthcare providers, informing community members about communicable diseases, modifying treatment plans, counseling clients, organizing support groups, combating social problems, informing citizens of substance abuse, conducting social research, investigating child abuse, and investigating neglect cases. This position requires a person with innate leadership skills and compassion. The community health advocate must be willing to take a stand and represent their citizens in a professional fashion.
Community Health Advocate Tasks
Provide psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses.
Advocate for clients or patients to resolve crises.
Collaborate with other professionals to evaluate patients' medical or physical condition and to assess client needs.
Refer patient, client, or family to community resources to assist in recovery from illness and to provide access to services such as financial assistance, legal aid, housing, job placement or education.