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Door-to-Door Program

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

The Door-to-Door program was designed to address the barriers to social service and medical
care faced by recent immigrants to Chicago. Based on specific needs identified by the
community-based agencies associated with the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition and other
community-based agencies associated with the Chicago Department of Public Health, a system
of community outreach workers was established. Funding for the program was made available
by a grant from the Office of Minority Health, along with matching funds from the Chicago
Department of Public Health and participating community agencies (1992-2007).

The Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition (CHHC), in collaboration with the National Alliance for
Hispanic Health, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Telligen, UI
Health, and Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West, in partnership with academic, professional
and community-based health and human services organizations, will develop a one-year patient
navigator (PN) demonstration program, Door to Door. It will focus on: Type 2 diabetes, asthma,
cancer, hypertension, and related overweight-obesity, physical activity, and tobacco risk
factors. Its goal is to delay the onset of chronic diseases and their complications that result in
morbidity, mortality, and associated disabilities by improving the coordination of services and
continuity of care. Due to the high prevalence of chronic disease such as diabetes, asthma,
cardiovascular, and cancer among Hispanic/Latinos (H/L) in Illinois are a significant challenge for
the medical systems and public health. Trained PNs will assess participant needs and link them
to health and human services organizations. PNs will provide education on how to navigate the
healthcare system; reduce institutional, linguistic, and cultural barriers to accessing and using
the healthcare system; and provide support for the prevention and self-management. This
project builds upon the experience of a patient navigator program implemented by the Chicago
Department of Public Health (CDPH)’s Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition (1992-2007) that
served over 12,000 Hispanic clients.

The new initiative with Direct Relief, which funded D2D in 2021, the PNs will be recruited from
a pool of active community volunteers and will be culturally and linguistically competent, fully
trained, and familiar with the community. D2D will target participants who (a) reside in the
target area, (b) are of Hispanic/Latino origin of any age; (c) have a chronic condition or are “at
risk” due to lifestyle practices. The project will be implemented in two phases: (1) Planning &
Development includes infrastructure building; recruitment and training of PNs of the newly
developed curriculum of D2D; development of evaluation instruments which include pre and
post-tests and tracking systems. (2) The second phase will have two complementary
components: (1) the Person-to-Person Service component (10 PNs) will link individuals and
advocacy services, keeping appointments, interpreting, securing transportation, “self-
management” support, etc.; and (2) the Remote Support Services will facilitate communication
among providers.