On Wednesday, the New Haven Adult Education Center held their Community Resource Day. This was my first consumer outreach event, and it was a great introduction. The fair was extremely well-attended, and the organization of the event and how smoothly it ran really impressed me. Different groups and classes from the Center came in at staggered intervals, so it was always busy but never too crowded. Because of the variety of programs the Center offers, there were people of all ages, and we handed out a ton of tip sheets, in both English and Spanish, and applications for HUSKY and Charter Oak. Many people also asked us specific questions about their own health care experiences, options, and situations, and one person has already called us to find out more about the information we gave him at the fair. Lots of the people we spoke to were interested in finding alternative insurance programs because they had recently lost their jobs and, therefore, their health insurance. We also heard from a young woman who has Charter Oak and who cannot find a doctor who will see her, which, as this blog has written about, is a common complaint about the program. In general, the younger students at the Adult Education Center had less interest in our table, which I initially assumed was because of the stereotype of the young invincible who believes s/he can’t get sick. Once I talked to a few of them, though, it turned out that most of them had HUSKY or other insurance from their parents already, so they didn’t need to worry about health care yet.
I also very much enjoyed seeing the other organizations at the fair and learning more about the resources available to the New Haven community. Yale can be very isolated from the rest of the community, so I had only a vague idea about the number of community organizations in the area. Everyone was very friendly, and a couple of youth and community groups took tip sheets and signed up for our newsletter. Overall, it was a very successful and enjoyable event, and I am looking forward to doing more of them.
Sabina Klein, CTHPP Fellow