New program in Ottawa County helps patients with chronic conditions in their homes

HOLLAND, Mich-- A new program recently launched in Ottawa County is helping people with chronic illnesses manage their health conditions in their homes and connect them to community resources. It's called Ottawa Pathways to Better Health.

The free program is already helping San Juan Benavidez. He suffers from a chronic health condition and says he barely has enough money to buy groceries. But he trusts that his community health care worker, Glori Orozco, will help him find his way through the healthcare system.

Benavidez says he has a hard time walking because he needs a new heart. He also has diabetes and high cholesterol.

"I’m going downhill pretty quick," he said.

These are all issues his healthcare worker helps him with.

Orozco works with Ottawa Pathways to Better Health to connect clients like Benavidez to local services and resources. She also helps clients set health goals, understand their medications and navigate the healthcare system.

"Just the smallest things we take for granted others are intimidated by," Orozco said. "They don’t know where to go, where to start, so we're there to help out."

Orozco meets patients at their homes for a few hours a week to identify the health and social services they need, such as food, clothing, housing, utility assistance, transportation, education, and employment.

"I appreciate them coming over helping me and my family," said Benavidez. "They’ve been a lot of help. If it wasn’t for them, I couldn’t do it."

For questions or to see if you qualify call 616-393-5601. To qualify, you must be 18 years or older, live in Ottawa County, be enrolled in or eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, have two more chronic health conditions, and have challenges in managing those conditions.

Ottawa Pathways to Better Health is a collaboration of multiple community partners who are funding the program.

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