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Promising Practices: Health Advocacy

Health Leads

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Their Story: 

Health Leads is a non profit organization which mobilizes and trains about 1000 volunteers each year who staff resource desks located in the waiting rooms of 23 hospital clinics or health centers in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Providence, R.I., and Washington. At these sites, doctors now regularly “prescribe” a wide range of basic resources — like food assistance, housing improvements, or heating fuel subsidies — which Health Leads’ volunteers “fill” — applying their problem solving skills (and tenacity) to identify resources anywhere they may be available.By providing a transformative experience for hundreds of college volunteers, Health Leads is producing a pipeline of new leaders who will have both the conviction and the ability to revolutionize health care. Health Leads volunteers are not social workers, but work in conjunction with trained and licensed social workers, nurses, physicians, legal aid workers and other clinical staff to ensure that patients can get and stay healthy.

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