Health and Wellness Community Health Workers

Health Workers

Economic and social conditions like stress, employment, housing quality, and access to food have a profound effect on health.

Connect to good health

NKCDC can help you find resources to meet your needs for housing, food, utilities, transportation, translation, education, child care, and anything else that may affect your health.

Find health resources

Meeting community health needs in Kensington

Upper Kensington ranked last of 46 Philadelphia neighborhoods in health factors and health outcomes, according to a 2019 study by the City of Philadelphia and Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Its Census tracts rank lowest on key demographic and socioeconomic indicators tracked by the city controller’s office.

With funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, NKCDC has partnered with Jefferson University to train and hire Community Health Workers to address health needs in Kensington. 

In four years of the program, 57 Kensington residents graduated as Community Health Workers, and 36 have been hired by NKCDC to conduct social needs screenings and match neighbors to health care, healthy food, housing services, employment opportunities, credit and budget counseling, and other social service resources.

“They are angels”

Kensington resident Miguel Mendez with community health workers Chris Rys and Brenda Mosley

Who are Community Health Workers?

Community health workers bridge the gap between health care providers and patients. They advocate for patients and help them navigate the health systems and social support services available in their community.

“The Community Health Workers engage the community by canvassing the neighborhood, hosting events, attending meetings and programs, interning at partner organizations, and maintaining hours at NKCDC’s office to connect residents to resources they may not be aware of,” said Lizette Lewis, Work.  

Our Impact

Environment and access to necessities like food, shelter, and transportation have a significant effect on short and long-term health outcomes.

Secretary Teresa Miller
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Social determinants of health

NKCDC’s Community Health Worker initiative is part of a state-funded Health Enterprise Zone demonstration project, aimed at improving health outcomes across North Philadelphia. 

The project addresses the social determinants of health—economic and social conditions that have a profound effect on the health of individuals and communities. These determinants may include:

  • Income and social status
  • Employment and working
  • Education and literacy
  • Childhood experiences
  • Physical environments
  • Social supports and coping skills
  • Healthy behaviors
  • Access to health services
  • Biology and genetics
  • Gender
  • Culture
  • Race


“A person’s health and wellness are more than just how they are able to care for themselves—their environment and access to necessities like food, shelter, and transportation have a significant effect on short and long-term health outcomes,” said Teresa Miller, Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services.

“We must empower health care providers, managed care organizations, and community partners to think innovatively and work together on a whole-person approach to put the people we serve on a path to better long-term health outcomes.”


Talk to a Community Health Worker

Contact 215-427-0350 x110 or