Hours for the program are 3-5 p.m. on Mondays. There is no cost to utilize the service, which is funded by the University of Iowa in cooperation with the local SALUD multicultural health coalition.
Five navigators have completed or are in the process of certification for the program, aligned with the new SALUD Community Health Workers effort: Di Daniels, Emilia Marroquin, Selynna Butler, Cinthia Balandran and Andrea Taylor.
Recently, the library hosted a social worker in the library program, but grant funding was available for a short time only. The Service Navigators will fill the void left after the end of the social worker effort.
Primarily, the Service Navigators will work to connect people with the appropriate services and resources for their needs. “Often people don’t know all of the services that are available, where they are located or how to access them,” Cinthia said. “They may need help with basic applications. Sometimes people just need encouragement, someone to sit with them when they make that call.”
No appointments are necessary to utilize the Service Navigator assistance at the library. Two of the Navigators are bilingual, and the program is working toward having available translators as needed in other languages.
“We’ve been trying to put ourselves out into the community, to reach people from all walks of life,” Andrea said. “The library is an ideal place to locate services. It’s a well-known, central location that people see as a very safe, welcoming space. It’s the public’s library - people know they won’t be asked to pay or buy anything.”
The library’s newly-completed telehealth room allows for confidential service.
The Service Navigators can help in many areas, such as seeking health or mental health care, day care, food resources, available housing, insurance and other needs or paperwork.
The Community Health Workers/Service Navigators of BV is a pilot program that has been funded for a full year, as the first of its kind in the state. SALUD hopes to see the program demonstrate the need for such community services, so that it can continue and grow beyond the pilot year.
Walk-ins are welcome at the library Mondays 3-5 p.m. Service Navigators can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
Photo: Service Navigators of BV providers Andrea Taylor and Cinthia Balandran began the program’s in-library service October 2.