Health Advocates - Make an Impact

Community Impact

The volunteer Health Advocate will assist Alameda Health System consumers seeking resource information, navigation, and application. The Health Advocate will interface with consumer’s in-person at the Health Advocate desk or telephonically depending on consumer availability and preference. On any given day, a volunteer might help a patient apply for CalFresh, make an appointment at a local food bank, or provide information for affordable housing. Patients facing issues such as eviction, unsanitary housing, immigration concerns and/or termination of their public benefits will be referred to one of our legal partners, Bay Area Legal Aid, Centro Legal de la Raza, East Bay Community Law Center, or Housing and Economic Rights Advocates. The volunteer will also make follow-up calls to ensure that each patient’s needs have been met and offer further assistance as needed.

Our volunteers are a diverse group of people, yet they all share a few things in common: they are all passionate about helping the community, are interested in health and/or social justice, and are dedicated to serving Alameda Health System’s patients.  This experience is a hands-on approach to supplement their learning and education and offers professional development towards future goals.

Health Advocates are strategically stationed at various AHS sites to meet with a diverse range of AHS inpatient, outpatient, and Emergency Room clients. The Health Advocates are currently active in three locations: Highland Hospital, Fairmont Hospital, and Hayward Wellness Center.


Program Benefits

Health Advocates receive the opportunity to work in a fast-paced hospital environment, interfacing with medical staff, social workers, and attorneys while learning the intricacies of navigating a complex county health care system and developing a strong knowledge base about various community resources in Alameda County.

We are looking for vibrant, reliable, and committed volunteers who want to make a difference. Health Advocates will gain front line experience navigating health care, developing interviewing skills in a clinical setting, working in a multi-disciplinary team, learning to communicate on a variety of platforms, and gaining a better understanding of health care professions and career trajectories.    As a Health Advocate, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Assist socio-culturally and economically diverse individuals connecting them to resources such as housing, food, legal, and financial aid
  • Complete medical, social, and/or legal risk intakes for clients
  • Navigate resources within the community and provide warm hand-offs to the next person in the communication chain
  • Conduct internal outreach for various program projects
  • Screen and enroll patients into research studies to further prove efficacy of the Help Desk
  • Collaborate in a team setting to determine best plan of care
  • Work in a coordinated continuum of care with physicians, social workers, and hospital staff
  • Attend weekly debrief sessions to capture all experiences and facilitate feedback loop with team members
  • Participate in in-depth training sessions

Health Advocate volunteers will also receive a weekly meal stipend!


Application Process

(1)   Eligibility

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be able to pass AHS background check
  • Must be courteous, responsible, honest and accountable individuals
  • No prior experience is necessary, but relevant volunteer/work experience is highly preferred
  • Strong interest in public health, law, social work, medicine, psychology, or related fields.

(2)   Apply

Check out our Application Timeline and FAQ here!