A new outreach program in Schenectady is showing some early success.
The City Mission of Schenectady and the Alliance for Better Health are joining together on a project called, "Empower Health," which is designed to encourage low-income residents and the homeless to get medical help before health problems get out of control.
Mission Director Mike Saccocio says the idea is to utilize, "health care ambassadors" who have had experience in the streets to make contact.
"Rather than having someone from the healthcare establishment try to do it, people who've earned trust in the community, people who have their own stories of overcoming poverty, we think they can be difference makers, and really reforming how healthcare is delivered in our community."
"Empower Health" has now been up and running for about 2 months.
Saccocio says they have been able to connect with about 600 people to get them to see a doctor.
"We've learned that unless a person who has trust can create that bridge to get people to go take care of their situation, we're all going to be faced with the fact that they're going to get less and less healthy, and then have a major situation.
Photo: Getty Images