A new online tool can help health advocates learn about health risk factors in their communities and compare them to other places across the state.
Called the80, the comparison tool was developed to help community health advocates (CHAs) use data to help patients, providers, and community-based organizations. It gives what health care professionals call “social determinants of health” data — chronic disease, income and other stats — helpful to workers providing care and resources to those at risk.
The need to address social determinants of health became urgent amid the COVID-19 pandemic and increased awareness of systemic racism. And while Blue Shield of California’s plan to transform health care through Health Reimagined work is focused on this, as a whole, the community health workers program is the closest line to that work.
The80 represents an enhanced storytelling tool for Community Health Workers and Community Health Advocates (CHAs). This technological advancement allows community workers to leverage data to create opportunities to make actionable work for patients, providers, and community-based organizations. The80 can be used by clinical providers or community-based organizations to make connections to already available resources, and advocate for change.
Why community health advocates?
The80 is an expansion of the CHA initiative started in November 2019. This pilot program was launched in Sacramento. CHAs focus on the parts of life outside of the doctor’s office that determine one’s health: transportation, food, housing, education, and community. These elements account for 80% of our overall health, hence the name, the80.
A case study on the need for this kind of healthcare extension was highlighted in the story of a Sacramento senior finding permanent housing thanks to his CHA last year. And this work was also punctuated with the announcement of our collaboration with mySidewalk, a technology platform aimed to advance public health services, increase transparency around community health, and address disparities within California. It leverages dozens of sources to create a comprehensive picture of a community’s health outcomes, which is essential to a community health worker’s reactive and proactive duties.