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Meet our Community Health Worker — Jessica Rackley

Erin McCullough, Tullahoma News

Partners for Healing has added a new position to its staff with funding from a $49,000 grant from the Tennessee Charitable Care Network. According to Executive Director Lynn Brumfield, grant funding has facilitated the creation of a Community Health Worker to join the staff at Partners. This position will support health-related outreach and services to residents in the Partners service area—Coffee, Franklin and Moore counties—and provide important health education and referral services to individuals who have trouble accessing care or other resources known to support good health.

The project is also supported by the Rural Health Association of Tennessee, which will provide training support and other resources through a recent donation from Amerigroup.

While Partners for Healing has always worked to be connected to the communities it serves, this new funding will support the new full-time position, which will in turn provide real focus to the overall effort. Some support will go to existing Partners patients, but the primary goal is to be a visible, active part in the community.

Partners officially welcomed Winchester resident Jessica Rackley to the new position. Rackley is currently an LPN at Partners and is working on her degree in social work. The new role will leverage her experience in home health, school nursing and clinic nurse and also use the new skills she will acquire as part of the apprenticeship aspect of the Community Health Worker program, Brumfield said.

As part of her new role, Rackley will work with local partners such as county health departments, the University of the South at Sewanee, Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital and other helping organizations to engage community members who may need support to meet a broad range of healthcare needs. That support can include access to COVID-19 testing, vaccines and education, learning to live with chronic diseases, education on how to best access health care and more. The CHW will also measure and evaluate the health impact of proposed project activities, strategies and outcomes.