For Jawana Echols-Anderson, “every phone call, every pantry run; to me, I’m saving my race. One patient at a time in Dane County. I live and breathe this work.”
Jawana is a community health worker (CHW), at ConnectRx Wisconsin; a program that provides support to African-American / Black high-risk moms during pregnancy and up to one year after the birth of their child.
Jawana and her CHW colleagues have their work cut out for them. Babies born to Black mothers in Dane County are two times more likely to be born at low birth weight, often leading to significant health challenges and higher mortality rates.
Thanks to you, Jawana has an important ally in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison. You are saving lives and improving long term health for our fragile neighbors.
ConnectRx Wisconsin was designed to address social determinants of health like transportation, housing and food insecurity for specifically Black moms and provide them with support so they and their babies can thrive. Jawana and her team show up “wherever the patient needs.” They’ll attend housing hearings, write letters of recommendation, loan out technology so clients can apply for jobs, or pick up food and personal care items for patients; a combination of advocacy and education.
These community health workers can rely on St. Vincent de Paul — Madison as full-service partners to fulfill requests for clothing, furniture and food. Along with her colleagues, Jawana picks up roughly ten orders of food from our food pantry for her patients each week. Pantry2Home (online food ordering system) is an especially meaningful service as it saves time and gives their patients the flexibility to choose their own food. Jawana credits the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and particularly Pantry2Home as positive “gamechangers” for her clients.
You are making a difference today that will last generations.
Nutritious food is essential for maternal and infant health. For moms on limited incomes, it’s difficult to afford high quality produce, meat and pantry staples. Jawana explained that transportation and a lack of money are two of the biggest hurdles her patients face.
Access to quality food is especially challenging when moms don’t have reliable transportation, and it’s difficult to travel by public transportation with small children. Pantry2Home saves time for neighbors in need, eliminates food waste, and meets any dietary restrictions or cultural preferences.
“Being able to come here, drive up to a special spot to get the online orders has really saved a lot of time of getting the resource,” Jawana said. “We benefit from using St. Vincent de Paul because you also do have diapers, wipes and some of those household items. So that makes it a one-stop-shop. We can come here and get everything that a patient needs in one location.”
In 18 months, ConnectRx Wisconsin has welcomed 137 babies into the world and celebrated 25 first birthdays. You have helped make this happen.
You have helped fill hundreds of online orders containing fresh produce, pantry staples, baking supplies, diapers and household cleaners since Pantry2Home’s inception. Neighbors either pick up these orders in-person at the pantry or schedule an at-home delivery. Since August 2023…
* Names changed to protect the patient’s privacy.
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