East TX Human Needs Network & the Community Health Worker Coalition: #WriteMyCommunity for National Day on Writing: October 20, 2014 by J.D. Meyer

I regularly attend two community events in Tyler, TX: (1) East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) and (2) Community Health Worker (CHW) Coalition. ETHNN meets on the second Monday of the month at the local Salvation Army auditorium from 2-3:30. The CHW Coalition meets every other month on a Friday from 12-1:30 at Tyler Junior College West auditorium and includes a luncheon and speaker.
The ETHNN is a network of non-profits and volunteers with five committees: education, employment, health, housing, and transportation. Currently, I’m on the new transportation committee as I was recruited because I’m a frequent bus rider who no longer drives. Plus, I am familiar with the routes and can read the map. Recently, I organized a field trip for the transportation committee. We caught a bus at lunch time to the upscale grocery store: FRESH, a branch of Brookshire’s from the Bergfeld shopping center–the Tyler Transit’s 2nd hub.. We hope to advertise a bus party event on a Saturday after football season. Such a destination targets atypical bus riders. My next suggested lunch field trip is to Supermercado Monterrey. Later I found an article entitled, “Transit Social Experience,” by John Hollenhorst in Mass Transit (July/August 2014, pg. 42) that vindicated my approach. Tampa has trips to events, such as concerts. I told Heather Bolestridge, Director of Tyler Transit about it.
Previously, I served on the education and health committees, as I’m a disabled teacher (mostly COPD & usually Developmental English). I was recruited for the CHW Coalition after I announced the location of a new University of Texas Northeast Health Center clinic in North Tyler at an ETHNN meeting, by Cynthia Keppard–the director. A new one-semester CHW certificate started this semester at TJC West. I like to describe the CHW as a paraprofessional version of Former President Bill Clinton in the Health industry–“explaining stuff.” Community Health Workers are especially valuable in Third World countries where there is a lack of doctors and nurses. I like to watch webinars on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and plan to give some guest talks, a way to “hack the freebies” since there’s so much information on-line, including free tests.
Attending the meetings of these organizations has been rewarding. Upon request, I sent a link to my “Introduction to Twitter” article at my WordPress site for Christina Fulsom, the Director (Network Weaver) of ETHNN. I wrote this article after I crossed the 1000 follower mark in July, and I’m 7th in Tyler. One of these days, I’ll share my navigating my way around Medicaid and Medicare for the CHW Coalition. Did you know that if you’re on Medicare QMB, you can barely work part-time compared to mere SSI or SSDI because of all the medicine you’re getting?

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