Community Health Workers
Message from the Chair
hope this summer has reinvigorated CHWs across the country for the work ahead
of us. It has certainly energized me!
Several states have held CHW conferences and Annual Meetings. I attended
and presented at Unity 2010, the Michigan 3rd Annual CHW Conference
and also attended the Canadian Public Health Association Annual Meeting. I had
the pleasure of representing the CHW Section at all of the above mentioned
conferences. While all were exciting and well organized, each was amazing in its
own right. Other than the APHA Annual
Meeting, currently there is only one other annual conference where many CHWs
gather -- the Unity Conference, hosted by the University of Southern
Mississippi. This year Unity was held in
Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio CHW Association
(OCHWA) was very involved in the conference planning and they, along with the
Ohio Commission on Minority Health, were wonderful hosts. The conference is always a great experience,
but it is even more so when the statewide CHW Association is engaged the
planning. Thanks to Jewel Bell, OCHWA’s president, for hosting CHWs from around
the country. To top off a wonderful
conference, Corinne Justin was the 2010 recipient of the Esther M. Holderby
Dedicated CHW Award. She is a Gila River Indian Community tribal member and the
first community health representative (CHR) to be the award’s recipient. The
award was established after the 2005 death of Esther M. Holderby, my mother and
a dedicated CHW herself.
Canadian Public Health Association Annual Meeting was held in Toronto, Canada
on the heels of the Unity Conference.
You may not be aware, but our section has members in Canada. I was
invited to participate in a pre-conference session on CHWs. The session included presentations on the CHW
movement in the United States, international CHW programs and the Community
Health Representative (CHR) program in Canada. I was struck by the
commonalities our field has, no matter our job titles or where we work. There
is not a CHW unit at the Canadian Public Health Association, and the session
participants were very interested in the involvement we have in APHA. We will be working with our Canadian CHW
Section members and others to advance the CHW movement across our northern
last stop on my CHW summer time journey was Grand Rapids, Mich. I had the honor to spend the day with some
amazing CHWs. The Michigan CHWs are ready and eager to organize. Like several
CHW organizations across the country, they have had a difficult time sustaining
their efforts. I hope they will hold on to the energy I felt in the room and
move forward. I have no doubt they will. It was a true honor to represent the
CHW Section at each conference.
are new CHW organizations in Texas and Rhode Island, and I’m sure there are
other budding organizations that are not on the radar yet. I wish them well in organizing and giving the
CHW workforce a unified voice in their states as we move forward. It is crucial that all states develop and
maintain strong CHW organizations which have CHW leadership. Joining APHA is important on several levels,
but we cannot forsake our CHW brothers and sisters in our home states or
countries. Strong CHW organizations in
our own backyards will enhance our involvement in national initiatives, efforts
and organizations like APHA. We should develop CHW leaders at home and
encourage those leaders to be active within APHA.
we move forward as a Section there are expanded opportunities for leadership,
not only in our section, but in APHA.
The CHW Section is only as strong as our membership. Please join your
colleagues in Denver at the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting to enhance your
knowledge, network and become more engaged in the Association. Our program planner has worked incredibly hard
along with a small committee to bring an innovative program. The social justice theme is perfect to
highlight the work of CHWs, promotores de salud and CHRs around the country and
around the world. We received several
abstracts from international programs, speaking to the important role of CHWs
to promote health worldwide. Please stop
by our new booth at the expo during the Annual Meeting to receive the CHW
program session listings. I’m sure you’ll find at least a few sessions to
you in Denver!
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Exciting CHW Section Program Set for APHA 138th Annual Meeting in Denver
Social justice is the theme of this year’s
conference. Recognizing that community health workers play an integral role in
our communities and more oft than not employ social justice into their everyday
lives and work, the Program Planning Committee was overwhelmed by the number of
abstracts received, 90 plus. This is a great start to being a brand new
section. Our 2010 program consists of two poster sessions, two roundtable
sessions, five scientific sessions, a CHW workshop on social justice and one
As in the past we will have several business
meetings. It is extremely important that our members participate as we will
begin to develop our infrastructure as a Section, creating bylaws, committee
positions, etc. Schedule for meetings is as follows:
Ø CHW Section Executive Board Meeting – Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2:30 p.m.
Ø CHW Section Education Y Capacitacion Meeting –
Sunday, Nov. 7, at 6:00 p.m.
Ø CHW Section Policy Committee Meeting – Monday, Nov. 8, at 7:00 a.m.
Ø CHW Section General Business Meeting – Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 6:30 p.m.
Ø CHW Section Program Planning Meeting – Wednesday,
Nov. 10, at 6:30 a.m.
Lastly, but certainly not least important, all are
invited to attend the CHW Section Social Hour/Reception, which will be held
Monday evening from 6:30 – 8:00. All
members are encouraged to come and meet, mingle and network. Frolic, food and
fun await you!
To register for the APHA Annual Meeting and to view
the CHW Section program and speakers, go to: http://www.apha.org/meetings/highlights.
Don’t forget when you register make sure you name the CHW Section as your
affiliation. We look forward to seeing you in Denver, the mile high city!
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Call for Papers on CHWs
Community health workers
increasingly acknowledged to play an essential role in helping to improve the
delivery of public health services to many marginalized populations. The
American Journal of Public Health
editorial team and board broadly support the timeliness of this topic.
to have a theme issue on
Health Workers and Public Health”
2011 or early 2012.
Submissions are welcome that address issues related to:
community health workers and access to care; community health workers and
reduction of disparities in health; community health workers and their
integration into new models of comprehensive care; community health workers and
their role in Health Care Reform; training, certification and payment of the
community health worker workforce; and other related topics.
Note that “Community
Health Worker” is the term selected by a national group
of community health workers in the 1990s to create an umbrella term for a
number of job titles that meet certain criteria. Other common job titles
include Outreach Worker, Patient Navigator, Patient Advocate, Peer Leader, Promotor(a),
Family Support Worker, Enrollment Worker, etc.
All selected authors are encouraged to consider the different
categories of manuscripts as indicated on the AJPH
website. All manuscripts will undergo the
standard peer review process by the AJPH editors and peer referees as defined by AJPH policy. Manuscripts
will be due to the Journal on Dec. 15, 2010, and can be submitted at http://www.editorialmanager.com/ajph.
General inquiries regarding this
theme issue can be made to Stewart Landers, AJPH Associate Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Massachusetts Governor Signs CHW Bill
September marks a historic month for
strengthening the community health worker workforce in
Massachusetts. One of of the priorities of the Massachusetts Association
of Community Health Workers (MACHW) since December 2008 has been to advocate
for the creation of a CHW board of certification, and we succeeded. This
month Governor Patrick signed the bill into law! This success
has helped CHWs in Massachusetts take the next step to strengthen our professional
identity, foster leadership among CHWs, and promote the integration of CHWs
into health care and public health services.
What does this law mean to CHWs in Massachusetts?
- This law
creates the board of certification structure starting in 2012. Most of the
details of what certification could look like and its benefits will be shaped
by input from CHWs and stakeholders.
- In a few
years CHWs have the choice to apply to be a "certified community
- The first group discussion about the
new law occurred at MACHW's 4th Annual Meeting on
Sept. 16, 2010. More than 130 MACHW members drafted questions about the law
and brainstormed the process for moving forward.
- Bill signing celebrations
over the next month across the commonwealth.
- Regional dialogues throughout
the next year to draft the blueprint for certification.
For more information, visit: http://machw.org/stpolicy.html.
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Third Annual Michigan Conference Inspires Workers to Start New Association
Sept. 24, 2010, Grand Rapids, MI—Spectrum Health
Healthier Communities sponsored the Third Annual Community Health Workers
Conference: CHWs Incorporating Healthy
Life Changes into Their Communities. Topics included continued education,
surviving in this tough economy, CHWs as social entrepreneurs and how to raise
healthy kids. The keynote speaker, Lisa Renee Holderby, a 20-year seasoned CHW
from Boston, Massachusetts, spoke about the core values that define the
profession. She also presented opportunities and challenges for workers who are
interested in further developing their careers and knowledge base as the field
grows in the city and state.
Ms. Holderby has been instrumental in the
development and implementation of the Massachusetts Association of Community
Health Workers. As the first CHW in the nation to be employed full time as an
executive director, she brings a breadth of experience in organizing CHWs tor
the advancement of the profession. Attendees appeared motivated and willing to
embrace the challenges of self-organizing and planning necessary to bring a new
CHW association to Grand Rapids and the West Michigan region. Plans are
underway to build a citywide network database for CHWs—formal meetings and
focus groups will follow. Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit integrated health
care system dedicated to improving the health of the communities it serves.
For further information, contact Graciela Cadena at
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Texas "Summit" Maps New Course for CHW Workforce Development
More than 100 participants from across Texas met in Houston, June 17-18 to consider the
"business case" for employing CHWs and consider strategies to move
the state forward. Employers, CHWs, State and federal officials and other
stakeholders heard a rousing call to action ("Why CHWs?") from
Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, former Texas health commissioner and now chief medical officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
Sanchez also served as responder to a panel of five health care employers
presenting their own compelling evidence of a positive "return on
investment" from employing CHWs. According to conference organizers,
publicizing such previously unpublished data, and collecting employer
testimonials, will be a key future activity.
the second day, Gail Hirsch, director of the Office of CHWs in the
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, presented her State's rationale for
enhanced CHW workforce policy and the Massachusetts approach to comprehensive
committed to support of independent local and statewide associations of CHWs
and agreed to organize themselves for future actions under the umbrella of the
Texas Public Health Association, which has offered to create a "CHW
Workforce Section." Other action priorities include consideration of
a Medicaid waiver for CHW reimbursement and inclusion of CHW services as
medical costs in calculating "medical loss ratios" for health
insurers. For more information contact Carl Rush (email@example.com).
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CHW Association and Network Corner: CHWs Are Organizing
Across the country, at all levels (statewide, locally and
nationally), CHWs are organizing professional associations or networks. CHW
associations advocate for CHWs and the communities they serve. They give CHWs a
means of gaining additional skills, accessing support and recognition, and sharing resources and strategies with
peers. This regular newsletter feature highlights the ongoing organizing
efforts of CHWs across the country. We urge CHWs to contact their local
networks and get involved! If there is no network in your area, think about
starting one. Contact the network nearest you for information and strategies
about organizing. We recognize the enormous energy and commitment of CHWs as
they organize. We also know that this is only a partial list of CHW
associations. If you know of others, please let us know! Contact Newsletter Editor Gail Hirsch at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (617)
Welcome to the Community Health Worker Association of Rhode Island (CHWARI)!
CHWARI hired its first full time employee,
effective in August 2010, to coordinate the Association. Presently, the
Steering Committee is exploring standardized training and education paths for
all Rhode Island CHWs. Additionally, CHWARI is helping to coordinate CHW
networking, events, and expanding its website to provide resources for CHWs.
Please see contact information below.
National CHW Associations
American Association of Community Health Workers: Durrell
Fox email@example.com and Pam Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org,
American Public Health Association CHW Section: Lisa
Renee Holderby, Chair, (617) 275-2813, email@example.com;
Zeida Estrada, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, (281) 222-9643
National Association Community Health Representatives: Cindy
Norris, President, PO Box 1064, Sells, AZ (502) 471-3487 email@example.com;
Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network (AzCHOW), Of, By, and For
Community Health Outreach Workers; http://www.publichealth.arizona.edu/azchow/
Flor Redondo, Chair; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Community Health Worker/Promotoras Network, Maria Lemus, Executive
Director, Vision Y Compromiso, 2536 Edwards Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530; (510)
232-7869; (510) 231-9954 fax; e-mail: email@example.com,
or Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org
REACH-Workers – the Community Health Workers of Tampa Bay. Please contact
Michelle Dublin, chairperson of the network, at (727) 588-4018 or Michelle_Dublin@doh.state.fl.us
Georgia Community Health Advisor Network, Gail McCray, Department
of CH/PM Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive, Atlanta,
GA 30310-1495; Ph: (404) 752-1645, email@example.com
HAWAII – in
process of forming CHW organization. Leimomi Shearer, CHW, firstname.lastname@example.org 69-A
Railroad Ave, Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Chicago CHW Local Network. Contact Laura Bahena. 1436 W. Randolph St. 4th Floor,Chicago, IL.
60607. Telephone (312) 243-4772 ext.
(312) 243-4792. E-mail email@example.com
Community Outreach Workers Association of Maryland, INC. (COWAM),
259 North Lanvale Street, Baltimore, Md. 21217, (410) 664-6949 or (410)
669-7960, Carol Payne, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers (MACHW),
Cindy Marti, Policy Director, email@example.com, 434
Jamaicaway, Jamaica Plain MA, 02130, (617) 524-6696 x108; www.machw.org.
Michigan CHW Coalition, Celeste Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org;
Minnesota CHW Peer Network out of the Minnesota International
122 W. Franklin Ave. #522, Minneapolis, MN 55404, Anita Buel, Vice Chair, AnitaBuel2004@yahoo.com, Grace
Anderson, Chair email@example.com or
Andrea Leinberger (staff) (612) 230-3254 firstname.lastname@example.org
JERSEY – no CHW organization but the NJ CHW Institute is supporting the
development of CHW groups. Contact person Yvette Murry, Community Health Worker
Institute, NJ AHEC/ UMDNJ-SOM, email@example.com;
42 Laurel Road E., STE. 3200 Stratford, NJ 08084; (856) 566-6724.
New Mexico Community Health Workers Association (NMCHWA), P.O. Box 81433,
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87198, firstname.lastname@example.org,
www.nmchwa.com (505) 255-1227
Community Health Worker Network of New York State, http://chwnetwork.org/id49.html
New York City -Community Health Worker Network of NYC; 425 E. 25 Street;
New York, NY 10010; (212) 481-7667 Sergio Matos, Executive Director Sergio@chwnetwork.org or Romy Rodriguez, Chair, Romelia@chwnetwork.org; Website: http://chwnetwork.org/
Rochester Outreach Workers Association (ROWA), Latisha Williams, Chair, (585)
Community Health Worker Association, Jewel Bell, President,
phone (513) 464-8404, email@example.com,
Oregon Community Health Workers Association, 9000 N. Lombard Street--2nd Floor,
Portland, OR 97203, (503) 988-3366, ext 28686, Teresa Ríos, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Veronica Lopez Ericksen, email@example.com
Community Health Worker Association of Rhode Island
(CHWARI); Beth Lamarre, Rhode Island Parent Information Network, 1210 Pontiac
Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920, Ph: (401) 270-0101, firstname.lastname@example.org,
South Texas Promotora Association, Weslaco, Texas, Merida Escobar, STPA President/CEO, E-mail: email@example.com, (956) 383-5393;P.O.
BOX 350, San Juan, Texas 78589.
Washington Community Health Worker Network
Lilia Gomez - (360) 786-9722 (ext 230) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Seth Doyle - (206) 783-3004 (ext 16) - email@example.com
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Meet Your Leaders: Members of the CHW Section Executive Council
Carl H. Rush, MRP, is currently an
active consultant for Community Resources LLC, based in San Antonio,
Texas. Carl has been Secretary of the Community
Health Worker Special Primary Interest Group/Section since 2008. Carl was appointed to the APHA Education Board and elected to the APHA Governing
Council in 2009. His involvement with our Section’s CHW work at APHA
dates back much farther than these formal critical roles. He first got involved in APHA when he started
working for a college-based CHW Program at Northwest Vista College in San
Antonio in 2001, and he has, as he puts it, “had the privilege of working on
final revisions to the 2001 (SPIG) Policy Statement on CHWs” during the APHA Annual
Meeting in Atlanta.
becoming an active player in the CHW field, Carl worked in public health and
community development for more than 30 years, including 11 years managing
charitable grant making and corporate public affairs programs. His
involvement with CHW work began in 1995 when a friend and colleague at the University
of Texas School of Public Health introduced him to the concept. Carl shares he was "immediately
fascinated" by the opportunity to combine public health and
community-based economic development by creating jobs for CHWs. By
actually working with CHWs starting in 1997, he learned what a unique and
valuable part of the community CHWs can be.
addition to Carl’s work with CHWs and public health matters, he leads a
lively artistic life as an actor; Carl has been featured in community theater
productions since 1998. He is also an experienced
musician having played both the trumpet and trombone in his youth, and now
regularly plays percussion and electric bass.
In addition to his artistic skills, Carl is a known "gadget
freak" – he is fascinated by technology, and has worked with computers
since 1967. He says he can't wait for an affordable electric car! Finally, ever the politico, Carl was a
precinct captain for Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries, and voted in
caucuses and county convention as well.
J. Nell Brownstein, PhD, is a Health Scientist at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, where she has been employed since 1990. She is also an Associate Adjunct Professor of
Public Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. Nell has been active with Community Health
Worker (CHW) Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG) for many years, supporting its growth and
development since the early 1990s. For
many years, Dr. Brownstein served as the SPIG’s Educational and Communications
Liaison. Since we became a Section, she has been a general Advisor to the
The SPIG/Section has relied on Nell’s support to keep communications
going for many years. She has also
provided extensive technical support to the SPIG/Section in part based on her
knowledge gained through management of a CHW literature and program data base
for many years at the CDC as well as through her own research efforts.
Nell first became involved with the CHW field in 1990 when she
began her work at the CDC with an assignment to serve as the technical monitor
for the University of Arizona’s Arizona Prevention Center which had a focus on
heart disease and cancer and which engaged CHWs and promotores to deliver
interventions. At that time she says she had no familiarity with CHWs or promotores but she learned quickly,
reaching out across the nation to learn from others working in the field. It was in those early years that she found
the SPIG and became an active contributor and member.
Dr. Brownstein’s current CHW projects and activities include playing
an active leadership role in producing The
Community Health Worker’s Sourcebook: a Training Manual for Heart Disease and
Stroke Prevention (English and Spanish versions). She is also involved with
the development and evaluation of the use of family-oriented consumer products
for Hispanic populations: fotonovelas
and promotores guides on salt and
cholesterol. Nell reports that she is committed to helping others “recognize
the effectiveness of Community Health Workers as front-line public health
workers…and to promot(ing) comprehensive policy and systems changes to promote
involvement of CHWs.” When Nell is not
working as a professor, researcher, author, and mentor, she can be found at craft
shows and garage sales in greater Atlanta.
She is also a great guide at the APHA’s Annual Meeting with many
survival and networking tips.
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APHA Membership Information
those of you who are not members of the CHW Section or APHA itself, please
consider joining us! If you are a member of APHA, the CHW Section also welcomes
you to join us as a primary member.
you are unable to select the CHW Section as your primary affiliation in APHA,
please consider electing the CHW Section as a secondary section, and you will
receive our CHW newsletter!
those of you who are not yet members of APHA, there are many options for
A Special Community Health Worker subsidized membership ($65 annually for those
whose income is under $30,000 annually);
A consumer subsidized membership ($65 annually for those who do not derive
income from health related activities);
A Student/Trainee subsidized membership ($50 annually for those enrolled in a
college or university or occupied in a formal training program);
Regular membership is $160 annually.
include all benefits such as the American Journal of Public Health and The
Nation’s Health. For details on how to become a member of APHA and
how to designate the CHW Section as your Section, please call (202) 777-APHA.
You can also check out APHA's Web site at http://www.apha.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
the event you cannot become an official member of APHA, we still need your
wisdom, support, knowledge and power. Please feel free to contact any of the
officers listed in this newsletter about the CHW Section and how you can be
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APHA Initiatives on Transportation and Public Health
As we all appreciate, our health is profoundly
affected by our transportation decisions and options. Limited
opportunities for physical activity, higher exposure to poor air quality,
higher incidences of adult and childhood obesity and greater prevalence of
asthma and cardiovascular disease are a few of the inequities brought by
poor transportation policies. As part of our effort to enhance
crosscutting activity and knowledge among various APHA members and
sections, APHA is developing advocacy materials and helpful
information related to the links between transportation and public health. If
anyone is interested in learning more about this initiative, sharing
success stories or lessons learned, or establishing a new Forum
on Transportation and Public Health, please reach out to us! Interested members are asked to contact Eloisa Raynault at email@example.com.
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APHA 2010 Community Health Worker Section Executive Council
Maria Lourdes Fernández
Carl H. Rush
for Sustainable Health Outreach
of Southern Mississippi
England HIV Education Consortium
Massachusetts Association of
L. Foster School of Medicine
Department of Public Health
Massachusetts Association of
y Capacitación Committee Chair
Health Worker Network of
and Columbia University
School of Public Health
of Texas at El Paso
Center for Health Outreach
for Disease Control &Prevention
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Community Health Workers Newsletter Archives