Episode 10 of the More than Health Care: A Community Health Conversation podcast is now available on the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ website and on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. Every other week, a new episode uncovers keys to collaboration and holistic health in pursuit of improved health outcomes and lower costs for all. This episode features Amy Marchildon, director of services for new Americans for Ascentria Care Alliance in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Marchildon discusses her experiences with the Integrated Delivery Network program, which employs a community health worker who directly engages refugees and other immigrants and a cultural effectiveness trainer who works with the providers to increase their awareness about cultural effectiveness approaches and strategies. By working with the primary health care provider in Nashua, New Hampshire, that sees refugees, Ascentria works to ensure that all of services available to those in need can be identified and provided no matter where the person first seeks help. “Part of our role is to figure out how we can help increase awareness, acceptance, and accessibility from the refugees' standpoint,” said Marchildon. "We’re trying to help the refugees understand how to access proper care and also help providers understand that some of these things may be going on in the community and that they may have to dig a little bit deeper when people are presenting in their offices.”

Marchildon believes that in New Hampshire awareness among providers is growing around cultural and linguistic appropriate services, "I think that there is a lot of interest among providers to be the best that they can be in order to serve anybody that comes through their doors," said Marchildon.

However, to achieve greater success also means bridging the gap between healthcare providers and human service agencies for a more holistic approach and better overall outcomes. With that being said, Marchildon is hopeful that even more significant strides can be made, "I think this is the wave of the future …  this is what we need to figure out collectively as communities," said Marchildon. And she firmly believes that in addition to providing better outcomes, the integration of services will provide cost savings that all can embrace.

Listen as Marchildon provides a look inside Ascentria's innovative project in Episode 10 of the More than Health Care Podcast available through the Alliance website or subscribe on the Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify apps

About the Podcast
While many are realizing that collaboration and holistic approaches are the solution, the health care and human services sectors are struggling to find the right formula to realize the full potential. The More than Health Care podcast is designed to help organizations overcome barriers to partnerships resulting from cultural differences, financial pressures, and rules and regulations. 

In addition to showcasing inspiring examples of integration from across the country, featured experts will expose the myths, misconceptions, and shortcomings of efforts to address the social determinants of health through collaboration across sectors. 

This podcast is presented by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Ascentria Care Alliance, and Beech Acres Parenting Center. Cohosts Jill Huynh, vice president of new business development at Beech Acres, and Tim Johnstone, executive vice president of community services at Ascentria, work at the intersection of health and human services, bringing the expertise and practical experience to uncover key takeaways for improving health care and human services integration. 

Subscribe on  Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify

Learn more about the Alliance's efforts to improve population health and well-being.