Trillium Staff Profile: Barbara Radillo, Community Health Worker
“It’s the little things we do for our members that make a big difference,” said Barbara Radillo.
Barbara is one of Trillium’s Community Health Workers (CHW). Every day she engages with members to ensure they have access to the care they need. Barbara, who speaks both English and Spanish, does everything from helping Trillium members understand their Oregon Health Plan benefits, to showing them how to apply for a phone through the Oregon Lifeline program, to helping them schedule rides to a medical appointment, to getting them set up with a dentist appointment, and much more.
“Helping someone get a dental appointment may seem like a small step, but a lot of people don’t realize that having regular dental check-ups and a clean mouth can lead to big improvements in health,” Barbara explained.
In 2013, Barbara was working as a CHW for a pilot project with United Way and South Lane Mental Health that served Trillium members. At the end of the pilot project, she joined Trillium and continues to help our members improve their health and transform their lives.
In addition to connecting members to routine health services, CHWs like Barbara play a key role in providing member support during crisis situations. When the Holiday Farm wildfire destroyed homes and buildings in the McKenzie River Valley, Barbara called Trillium members to refer them to resources and make sure they could get their medications.
“Many of our members’ medications got burned up in the fire,” said Barbara. “We worked with pharmacies to get refills so our members had access to medications they couldn’t afford to miss taking, such as for diabetes.”
Barbara also works with Trillium’s flexible service requests program, which provides items or services that are not processed through usual medical billing, to help improve or support members’ health. Examples may include access to a warm swimming pool to ease arthritis pain or purchasing an air conditioner.
“As our Northwest summers continue to get hotter, buying an air conditioner and delivering it to someone’s home can truly be lifesaving,” said Barbara.
During the pandemic, Barbara, who speaks both English and Spanish, has used phone outreach to connect with Trillium members, working with Trillium case managers and providers to coordinate care. Recently she has begun attending outdoor community health fairs and events, such as the recent Portland Street Response pop-up event. Barbara enjoys meeting with people face to face, and she looks forward to doing that more often once conditions are safer.
“I really love being a community health worker,” Barbara said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in our members’ lives. And they have definitely made a difference in mine!”