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What is a Community Health Network?

group of people working together at one tableKishHealth System’s Community Health Network is an initiative that connects outside organizations and the health system, empowering those organizations to serve a larger role in the health of their community. Members of the Community Health Network include faith-based organizations and service groups. These community partners have access to a wealth of support including preventative medicine, follow-up care, wellness education, health awareness, and support during illness or hospitalization at Valley West Hospital. Not an insurance program, but a supportive network and advocacy program, the Community Health Network collaborates with the organizations to educate and provide help for their members in navigating the healthcare system. 

The Community Health Network bridges the goodwill of community organizations with the resources of KishHealth System to find new ways for community members to be healthy. In this combined effort, KishHealth System strives to inspire the community to be more wellness minded. 

The program functions in three complementing areas:

  • Providing tools and resources to create a healthier environment
  • Linking members with education, community resources and primary care to reduce risk of chronic disease
  • Mobilizing trained volunteer liaisons to meet the non-medical needs of their members when ill or hospitalized at Valley West Hospital.

What are the benefits to members?

The Community Health Network operates on the premise that people heal better when they feel a sense of connection, compassion, and care from people within their own community. A CHN member receives support provided by people he or she knows. Each organization’s liaisons work with members of their organization/community to provide non-medical needs.

With the help of a Community Health Network liason at the time of admission to Valley West Hospital, members receive the support they need from those that advocate for them personally. Support can vary from transportation, household assistance, meals, etc. before and after hospitalization.

Community Partner Organizations have access to:

  • wellness education and preventative medicine through training, guest speakers, and screenings
  • resources for health improvement
  • information about healthcare services

How do organizations get involved?

If you are interested in getting your organization involved in the Community Health Network, please contact Heidi Carlson, coordinator, at or 815.786.3782 or Beckie Frieders, preventative health educator, at or 815.786.3979.

Contact Us

If you are interested in getting your organization involved in the Community Health Network, please contact:

Heidi Carlson
Community Health Network Coordinator 

Beckie Frieders
Preventative Health Educator

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