Community Weavers Weave their Way to Heroic Recognition


Community Weavers Weave their Way to Heroic Recognition

Eskenazi Health Foundation is pleased to share Eskenazi Health Community Weavers were nominated and recognized as finalists for the 2024 Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) Health Care Heroes Award for their noble work of addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) throughout Indianapolis. The IBJ Health Care Hero Award honors individuals and organizations in the greater Indianapolis area, celebrating their exceptional contributions to enhancing the quality of health care locally.

“We are moved by those who play an integral role in improving the health of their own communities,” stated Dennis Oklak, chair of Eskenazi Health Foundation, and Donna Oklak, co-founder of Impact 100. “Thanks to the Community Weavers’ work, residents can be certain that their good health is a collective goal and accomplishment of their own neighborhoods.”

As part of the Beyond Barriers campaign, the role of the Community Weavers was developed to bridge the gap between community-based organizations and the health care system in neighborhoods where health equity disparities are prevalent. As deeply trusted allies, Community Weavers connect neighborhood residents to health care services and community resources. Eskenazi Health Community Weavers inventory local community organizations to ensure the needs of those they help are matched with appropriate organizations and services. In 2023, the Community Weavers completed over 4,000 SDOH-related encounters and/or community referrals across multiple Eskenazi Health Centers and Indianapolis neighborhoods and connected more than 300 community members to Eskenazi Health to establish a medical home.

The work of the Community Weavers in building trust and connecting Indianapolis residents to the resources they need most can be embodied in the following example:

Amidst the bustling Fresh for You Mobile Market (FFYM) at the W. 38th St. Eskenazi Health center, an elderly Hispanic man approached Community Weaver Kyla. Despite the language barrier, he was able to explain to Kyla that he missed his medical appointment due to a date mix-up and faced not having enough of his critical blood pressure medication. Determined to help, Kyla quickly found an interpreter and guided him to a triage nurse. While Kyla was back at the FFYM continuing to work, the man returned to express his gratitude. He embraced Kyla in a hug and explained that because of her intervention, he was able to get an earlier appointment and receive a timely refill on his medication. Kyla was uplifted to know she had made a meaningful impact on this man’s life.

Community Weavers were recognized as finalists for the 2024 IBJ Health Care Heroes Award for the incredible impact they are making in the health and lives of our neighbors in Indianapolis.

Learn more about Eskenazi Health’s Community Weavers and the noble work they are doing throughout Indianapolis in this recent article published by Indianapolis Business Journal.

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