PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY TEAM (PHAST)
The newly formed Public Health and Safety Team (PHAST) is an American Recovery Plan funded initiative in partnership with the Manchester Police Department which is providing a trained Community Health Worker (CHW) for all twelve wards of the City to address neighborhood level health concerns. In addition, a Senior Services CHW will be added to the team to serve the specialized needs of our frail and aging population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define the scope of a community health worker as a frontline public health worker who is a member of the community served and improves the quality and cultural competence of service delivery (https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/policy_resources/chw.htm). Activities of the CHWs include, but are not limited to:
- Serve as a point of contact, based on mutual trust, for policy makers and residents with neighborhood concerns;
- Coordinate and mobilize community groups to support neighborhood enhancement, engagement, and advocacy for individual and community needs;
- Assist residents with connection to available resources to more adequately and appropriately meet their needs;
- Serve as “Violence Interrupters,” an evidence-based approach to violent crime reduction. Under this model, violence is treated like a disease epidemic and can be prevented using health methods. This involves working with police to identify potential conflicts in the community and assist with conflict resolution and mediation (https://cvg.org/); and
- Serve as an alternative to police response for non-police matters that historically have been routed to police.
The team is multicultural and collectively speaks 9 languages in addition to English (Spanish, French, Nepali, Hindi, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Lingala, and Yoruba).
CHWs cannot respond to emergency situations nor provide direct financial assistance to residents, medical treatment, legal advice or support for political activities. We invite you to access these professionals for assistance with connecting to health, public safety and social systems.
Please go over to MyManchester.com to get more information about the PHAST Program and Team.