Community Health Workers
Section Newsletter
Winter 2011

Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair


Greetings from Massachusetts!

I am calling all CHWs, CHRs and promotores(as) and our regional, state and local associations to action.  Now is the time to pool our resources and knowledge to advance our field to promote health in our communities regardless of our individual job titles! We have an opportunity at our fingertips we must not let slip by.  As state and federal policy makers debate whether or not to implement the Affordable Care Act, we must take a stand to ensure our communities are not left holding the short end of the stick.  We must continue to advocate for the services, access to health care and preventative care communities need to promote social justice.


We all worked very hard to secure the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and we have more work to protect it from repeal.  Please become informed about what’s happening on the Hill.  APHA’s Public Health Action Campaign will assist you in staying informed of the progress of key public health issues and action needed. You may join this campaign and receive action alerts by signing up at  


In addition, get to know your elected officials and which ones are champions for CHWs, CHRs, promotores(as) and for community-based services to improve health and eliminate health disparities.  Ask for in-person meetings with elected officials or their staffers, make phone calls to the offices and take the time to send your thoughts in writing. Don’t wait to be in D.C. to speak with them; many spend some time in their districts each month. We should do this as individuals and as CHW organizations.


Be active in the CHW Section and APHA to stay on top of policies affecting how we practice as CHWs, CHRs and promotores(as).  Although it feels as though many of us were just together at the 2010 Annual Meeting, planning for the 2011 Annual Meeting has already begun.  The 2011 Annual Meeting is in Washington, D.C.  Plan on attending the Annual Meeting; take advantage of the location and reach out to your U.S. Senators and Representatives.  Join the CHW Section Policy Committee to stay on top of state and federal laws affecting CHWs, CHRs and the communities we serve and live in. If the Policy Committee is not for you, there are many other opportunities within APHA and the CHW Section to enhance your leadership skills and advocate for our field and communities. We are preparing for Association elections, and there are many open vacancies. Please visit the CHW Section Web page to become familiar with Section leadership opportunities.


Many are familiar with the sessions the CHW Section hosts each year at the Annual Meeting, but we are much more than that.  This is your Section, and we need you! As our state CHW movements gain momentum, it is crucial to strengthen the national movement as well.  Additionally, the Affordable Care Act needs to be preserved and implemented. We can’t do this without your help and leadership on the local, state and national levels. Each state and CHW organization should be represented within the CHW Section of APHA. If you are already a member, engage others from your state and CHW organizations to join and be active.  Now is the time for action and unity.  Your active involvement in the CHW Section will assist to make the dream of health care for all, elimination of health disparities and a stronger CHW, CHR and promotor(a) workforce a reality.



Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox

Change You Can Believe In

Change You Can Believe In:

Community Health Workers Meeting Today’s Challenges


The Center for Sustainable Health Outreach (CSHO) will hold its 11th annual Unity conference May 16-19, 2011 at the Marriott New Orleans at the Convention Center.  Unity 2011 is a national conference designed for and about community health workers.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Change You Can Believe In: Community Health Workers Meeting Today’s Challenges.”


Unity 2011 will address the role community health workers play in strengthening and enhancing public health in times of health care provider shortages, tight budgets and impending public health crises.  The conference will stress the importance of community health workers to the health care and human services delivery systems; ways to develop and sustain CHW programs; strength-based responses to community health shortfalls; new and emerging roles for CHWs; and methods of overcoming barriers to CHW program success.


The conference format will include plenary sessions with addresses from keynote speakers and panelists, as well as numerous breakout, poster, skill-building, and roundtable workshop sessions.  Community health workers are strongly encouraged to attend.  Unity 2011 is an opportunity for community health workers to share knowledge, information, and expertise with other community health workers and interested parties. 


The conference registration fee is $300 and includes training, materials and lunch each day.  Discounted registration fees are available for community health workers and students.  A number of limited conference fee waivers are available to community health workers upon request.  Conference information is available at by following the Unity Conference links.


Exhibit space will be available during Unity 2011.  The Center encourages community health worker programs and related service providers and educational programs to exhibit during the conference.  To discuss exhibiting during Unity 2011, contact Rebekah Young at (601) 266-5388 or  There are also opportunities for your organization and partnering agencies to get national recognition by becoming sponsors for Unity 2011.   For more information to sponsor Unity 2011 or other conference activities, please contact Susan Mayfield-Johnson at (601) 266-6266 or


New Orleans is a world famous tourist destination known for its multicultural heritage, music and cuisine.  With its wonderful restaurants, shopping, zoo, aquarium and the ever-famous “French Quarter,” New Orleans is an exciting place for a conference.  Come join us as we celebrate “Change You Can Believe In:  Community Health Workers Meeting Today’s Challenges.” Be sure to mark your calendars now to join us in New Orleans, Louisiana for Unity 2011!


Message from the Chair Elect

Message from the Chair Elect 

In November 2010, I attended the APHA Annual Meeting in Denver.  My experience in this meeting, along with the valuable resources of the CHW Section offered, have given me the  tools to keep working against the immense  challenges we are facing in our communities. 

CHWs are facing big changes in our communities and being part of CHW’s APHA Section would help all CHW’s, Promotores, CHR’s, and  Lay Health Workers around the country to be a strong voice for our communities.  My experiences at the APHA Annual Meeting in Denver have motivated me to ask all of you to be effective community health workers.  We must stay united. We are the only ones that can do it.  REMEMBER that a healthy community is a strong and prosperous community, and if our communities are healthy and strong, our nation will be, too.

On Jan. 8, 2011 the state of Arizona faced a shooting spree where six innocent people were killed and 13 were injured.  One of the injured was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  As America continues to stuggle with racism, hate and discrimination, now is time for us as CHWs to be more united than ever.  Our communities need us. We need to take a bigger leadership role because we are the voices of our communities, and we need to take that voice to our Congress and let them know that we are here and we are facing health and social disparities in our marginalized groups.  We need to take action for social change to improve community health and eliminate health disparities. REMEMBER, the only way we can do this is by being united and  participating and being a member of APHA CHWs Section.

Chair Elect 

Maria Lourdes Fernandez



CHW legislation advances in five states

State CHW legislation advances in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and New Mexico


Important legislation promoting the role of CHWs has been introduced in five states. Pennsylvania House Bill No. 342 emphasizes CHW roles in reducing emergency room utilization and in strengthening community health centers.  A bill in Texas would mandate a study of sustainable funding options for CHWs, including Medicaid waivers; a Republican state representative has agreed to introduce it, emphasizing potential cost savings for the state. Related bills have been introduced in Oregon and California.  The California bill (AB2354) passed the State Assembly in August 2010 and was reported favorably out of Senate committee, and would direct the state to study funding opportunities for CHWs under the federal Affordable Care Act.  A bill recently introduced in the New Mexico Senate would ask the state health department to recommend legislative language to create statutory authority for the state's new Office of CHWs next year, and would request that the Office develop a CHW certification program.  Most state legislatures are wrestling with serious budget deficits, so prospects for new funding for CHWs are limited, but the fact that employing CHWs can reduce other costs (such as hospitalization) substantially can make these bills more attractive to legislators.


Carl H. Rush, MRP
Community Resources LLC
San Antonio, Texas

The CHW Section Needs You!

The CHW Section Needs You!


We are seeking abstract reviewers for the 2011 APHA Annual Meeting CHW Section scientific sessions.  The reviews will be assigned approximately 10 abstracts to review and score. All scoring is done electronically. Reviewers will need online access to complete the review process. You will receive instructions and will be required to participate in 2-3 calls to develop our program. This is a wonderful opportunity to volunteer for a time defined task that will help to shape our 2011 program. To participate as a reviewer, please contact Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox at 

CHW Organizing Gains Momentum

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, getting 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: or (617) 624-6016.



National CHW Associations


American Association of Community Health Workers
Durrell Fox, Co-Chair,

American Public Health Association CHW Section  
Lisa Renee Holderby, Chair,  

National Association of Community Health Representatives  
Cindy Norris, President, (502) 808-6245,

National Hispanic CHW Association

Zeida Estrada, Chair, (281) 222-9643,


State/Regional CHW Organizations


Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network, (520)705-8861,

Community Health Worker/Promotoras Network
Maria Lemus, Executive Director, (510) 232-7869, or


REACH-Workers—The Community Health Workers of Tampa Bay
Michelle Dublin, Chair, (727) 588-4018,


Georgia Community Health Advisor Network
Gail McCray, (404) 752-1645,  


Chicago CHW Local Network
Laura Bahena, (312) 878-7015,,


Community Outreach Workers Association of Maryland, Inc.
Carol Payne (410) 664-6949,


Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers
Cindy Martin, Policy Director, (617) 524-6696 ext. 108,


Michigan CHW Coalition
Gracie Cadena,


Minnesota CHW Peer Network,
Anita Buel,  Chair, (612) 2933502,  
Sophia London, Co-Chair, (612) 873-8215,


The New Jersey CHW Institute supports the development of CHW groups
Carol Wolff, (856) 963-2432 ext. 202;


New Mexico Community Health Workers Association

Bette Jo Ciesielski, (505) 255-1227,


Statewide: Community Health Worker Network of New York State  

New York City: Community Health Worker Network of NYC  
Sergio Matos, Executive Director, (212) 481-7667,
Romy Rodriguez, Chair,

Community Health Workers Association of Rochester:

Glenda Blanco, Chair, (585) 922-3507,


Ohio Community Health Worker Association
Jewel Bell, President, (513)464-8404,


Oregon Community Health Workers Association
Teresa Ríos, (503) 988-6250 ext. 28686,
Veronica Lopez Ericksen, (503) 988-5055 ext. 28061,



Community Health Worker Association of Rhode Island


Beth Lamarre, Coordinator, (401) 270-0101, ext 149;


South Texas Promotora Association
Merida Escobar, President/CEO, (956) 383-5393,


Washington Community Health Worker Network
Lilia Gomez, (360) 786-9722 ext. 230,
Seth Doyle, (206) 783-3004 ext. 16,

Registration Now Open for APHA Midyear Meeting — "Implementing Health Reform: A Public Health Approach"

Registration Now Open for APHA Midyear Meeting — "Implementing Health Reform: A Public Health Approach"


Registration is now open for APHA’s Midyear Meeting: Implementing Health Reform — A Public Health Approach. Join public health colleagues and partners in Chicago, June 23-25, to better understand the health reform law and its implications from a public health perspective. Gain the tools needed for implementing the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and for improving health outcomes in communities across the country. The early-bird registration deadline is April 15. To register or for more information, visit


APHA Membership Information

APHA Membership Information

For 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.


If 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!


For those of you who are not yet members of APHA, there are many options for membership:

· A Special Community Health Worker subsidized membership ($65 annually for those whose yearly income is under $30,000);

· 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.


Memberships 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 website at or e-mail


In 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 involved.


Twenty-First Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest

Twenty-First Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest


The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 21st annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.


All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 139th APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about the winning material.


Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials. Entries for the contest are due by March 25, 2011.  Please contact Stephanie Parsons at for additional contest entry information. 

APHA 2011 Community Health Worker Section Council

APHA 2011 Community Health Worker Section Council


2011 Chair

Governing Council Representative

Lisa Renee Holderby

Tel: (978) 729-5379


2011 Chair-elect

Maria Lourdes Fernández

College of Public Health, University of Arizona

AZ Community Health Outreach Workers Network

Tel: (520) 3646495


Governing Council Representative

Education Board Representative


Carl H. Rush

Community Resources, LLC

Tel: (210) 7450560



Susan MayfieldJohnson

Center for Sustainable Health Outreach

University of Southern Mississippi

Tel: (601) 2666266


Governing Council Representative

Action Board Representative – JPC

Education Board Representative

Durrell Fox

New England HIV Education Consortium

and Massachusetts Association of

Community Health Workers

Tel: (617) 2625657


Program Planners

Lisa Renee Holderby

Tel: (978) 729-5379


Gail Hirsch

Tel: (617) 6246016


Pamela Aguilar


Communication/Newsletter Co-chair

Gail Hirsch

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

and Massachusetts Association of

Community Health Workers

Tel: (617) 6246016


Communication/Newsletter Co-chair

Molly Martin

Rush University

(312) 942-2540



Education y Capacitación Committee Co-Chair

Immediate Past Chair

Sergio Matos

Community Health Worker Network of

NYC and Columbia University

Mailman School of Public Health

Tel: (212) 3046415


Education y Capacitación Committee Co-Chair

Joanne Calista

Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center

Tel: (508) 756-6676 ext. 10


Policy Co-chair

Anne Willaert

(507) 389-7347


Policy Co-chair

Jewel Bell

Ohio CHW Association

Tel: (513) 4257856


Nominations Committee Co-chair

E. Lee Rosenthal

University of Texas at El Paso

Tel: (915) 7478233


Nominations Committee Co-chair

Lyzette Orr

Virginia Center for Health Outreach

Tel: (703) 228-1286


Liaison to Other APHA Section, SPIGs & Caucuses Co-chair

Colleen Reinert

Migrant Health Promotion

Tel: (734) 9440244


Liaison to Other APHA Section, SPIGs & Caucuses Co-chair

Samantha Sabo

University of Arizona

Tel: (520) 4192671


Special Advisor

Nell Brownstein

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Tel: (770) 4882570

Community Health Workers Newsletter Archives