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Home Healthworkers Make Getting Healthy Easier09:28

This article is more than 8 years old.

In the Boston area, we live in the shadow of some of the biggest and most important hospitals in the world. And yet, many chronically people in the city don't get the care they need.


One reason: they simply don't know how to navigate the complex web of medical, insurance and social service bureaucracies. The obstacle might be as simple as a language barrier, or as complicated as an untreated chronic disease.

A program called the Network Health Alliance is trying to help these people by deploying community health workers directly to their homes. In short, they make house calls and act as medical assistants, social workers, interpreters and guides.

It's modeled on the work of Dr. Paul Farmer, who co-founded Partners In Health, which developed a cadre of health care workers in Haiti. Now, the model is being used closer to home.


  • Rachel Zimmerman, co-host, WBUR's CommonHealth
  • Erica Guimaraes, community health worker, Network Health Alliance


This segment aired on March 29, 2011.

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