American Public Health Association
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Community Health Worker - Archived Newsletters
Section Newsletter
Fall 2007

Message from the Chair

Warm greetings to all of our members, allies and supporters. 


I write this message with enthusiasm as we approach the APHA Annual Meeting in November. Our program planner, Program Planning Committee and SPIG Council have organized a fantastic, full three-day program, including scientific sessions, roundtable discussions, business meetings and a reception to be held on Monday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. The scientific sessions promise exciting innovative examples of CHW program design, implementation and sustainability. These sessions will also address the many policy issues that have emerged as the CHW model continues to gain recognition in the public health arena.  Our program will provide many examples of CHW interventions that respect the role of CHWs and develop mutually respectful relationships between practitioners and our employer organizations.  I am proud to say that through the efforts of our members, our committees and our Council’s leadership, the Community Health Worker Special Primary Interest Group of APHA continues to organize, support and develop the field of community health workers around the world.


In another first for the SPIG this year, APHA's Community Health Planning and Policy Development (CHPPD) Section extended an invitation to the SPIG to create two, 90-minute invited sessions as part of their program at this year's Annual Meeting.  This is another indication of increasing attention by other elements of the public health field to the current and future contributions of CHWs.  Please see our Annual Meeting Program information below.


Our Policy Committee has also been very active this past year and will be holding a policy meeting during the Annual Meeting.  Our two Governing Council representatives were re-elected this year and continue to serve APHA and the SPIG in matters of policy and governance.  They have both been involved reviewing APHA policy proposals for 2007 and are prepared to comment on these at the meeting. All APHA members can access the policies through the APHA Web site. All APHA members can also comment on the policies during the public hearings on Sunday, Nov. 4 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. All hearings happen during this time in but in different rooms. This is a way to offer "friendly amendments" to policies. This was the process used a couple of years ago to insert the words "outreach done by CHWs" into a proposed policy to increase enrollment into child nutrition programs. We invite all interested parties to participate in these hearings or submit your comments to our Governing Council representatives at  We invite all interested parties to participate in these hearings or submit your comments to our Governing Council representatives, Lisa Renee SIciliano at, or Durrell Fox at


Last year our SPIG Council formed a Committee of Education y Capacitación.  This was a ground-breaking development for our SPIG and one that grew out of a need to inform regulators, policy-makers and educational institutions on appropriate training and development for CHWs.  Our Education y Capacitación committee has joined with the Community Health Worker National Educational Collaborative (CHW-NEC) to collect, document and disseminate promising practices from across the Unites States and the Native American nations for the college-supported training of CHWs. Their work is especially timely since numerous states are considering standards for the training and credentialing of CHWs – often without consulting practitioners or the local CHW-led associations that represent us.  This committee is poised to address these issues and work closely with our policy committee to develop national policies and guidelines for our field. 


This is also an exciting year for us as we continue our development towards Section status within APHA.  Over the past few years we have successfully established most of the requirements to apply for Section status.  We have regularly hovered around the minimum membership requirements to submit this application. Last year we reached that minimum of 250 members who select the CHW SPIG as their affiliation.  We call upon all our members, supporters, advocates and colleagues to please select the SPIG as one of your affiliations during the membership renewal process or at any time.  You can do this by accessing your membership profile on the APHA Web site.  We hope to reach the minimum membership again this year and move forward with our application for Section status.


I would also like to announce that the CHW SPIG will be publishing our own Web site within the APHA domain.  This resource will provide easy access to our SPIG members and others interested in our work.  The Web site will contain a lot of information, including our Vision & Mission, strategic priorities and student section.  It will describe our organizational structure, including our leadership roster, our committee descriptions, opportunities to participate in the SPIG and the minutes of our meetings.  We will publish a page for SPIG activities including awards, call for nominations, our Annual Meeting call for abstracts, our newsletters, current issues and SPIG policies and resolutions. We will also include a Resource link that will contain references and information on scientific literature, research and publications relevant to our practice. We are looking forward to this new development.


So, I invite you to enjoy this edition of our newsletter and please join us during the Annual Meeting in November. For questions or comments, please contact me at, or our newsletter editor, Gail Hirsch.

CHW SPIG Plans Cutting Edge Program for APHA Annual Meeting in D.C.!

Please plan to join the Community Health Worker SPIG for our informative and stimulating sessions in Washington, D.C., Nov. 3 – 7, 2007.  We will be sponsoring nine sessions to include poster, roundtable and oral formats.  Many of our sessions feature community health worker (CHW) presenters with front-line reports from the field, as well as contributions to training, research and policy.  They will share their expertise focusing on new policy as it relates to CHW workf orce development, the development of the American Association for Community Health Workers (AACHW) and on newly published research and articles. 


The CHW SPIG will also be hosting various business meetings and a reception on Nov. 5  from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  All are welcome! Check out our entire schedule at:  To register, please go to the APHA Web site at

SPIG Partners with CHPPD Section for Sessions at APHA Annual Meeting

In another first for the SPIG this year, APHA’s Community Health Planning and Policy Development (CHPPD) Section extended an invitation to the SPIG to create two, 90-minute invited sessions as part of their program at this year’s APHA Annual Meeting.  This is another indication of increasing attention by other elements of the public health field to the current and future contributions of CHWs.  The two CHPPD sessions are:  

4208.0  Policy and Practice Issues Relevant to the Training of Community Health Workers (Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2:30-4:00 p.m.).

4299.0  Research and Policy on Community Health Workers: Making the Connection (Tuesday, Nov. 6, 4:30-6:00 p.m.).

CHW Legislative and Policy Update

Minnesota Applies for Approval of Medicaid Reimbursement of CHWs


In September, the state of Minnesota submitted a Medicaid State Plan

Amendment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to

authorize reimbursement for CHW services.  This is the first state policy to classify CHWs meeting standard qualifications as providers for patient education, chronic disease management and other services on such a broad basis.  If approved by the federal government, payment can be made for face-to-face services by any qualified CHW who is employed by a registered Medicaid provider.  The CHW must be supervised by a physician or nurse practitioner working under a medical diagnosis as part of a plan of care.


Qualifying CHWs must complete a new standard educational curriculum

equivalent to about 11 college credit hours.  Experienced CHWs may qualify for "grandfathering" until 2010, by which time they would have to complete the curriculum to remain eligible.  CHW services will have a specific billing code, at a rate of about $25 per hour.  While actions by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on state plan amendments are hard to predict, Minnesota officials are hopeful.


Massachusetts Association of CHWs Hosts Statewide Annual Meeting

On Sept. 28, 2007, the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers (MACHW) hosted its inaugural Annual Meeting at the Hoagland Pincus Conference Center, with more than 100 community health workers and allies of community health workers in attendance.  The meeting was kicked off by Massachusetts state Rep. Gloria Fox of the 7th Suffolk District, who read a proclamation from the Senate and governor declaring this day as Community Health Worker Day. 


Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach provided the welcome address, followed by a keynote address by Dr. E. Lee Rosenthal, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion at the University of Texas at El Paso.  Following the morning session, Fox presented the Community Health Worker Legislative Champion Award to Massachusetts state Rep. Patricia Walrath.  Terry Mason of the Massachusetts Public Health Association also presented Commonwealth Medicine with the Community Health Worker Ally Award.  The Annual Meeting concluded with a panel featuring Frances Hubbard, Camila DeOliveira, and Durrell Fox, who spoke to their experiences in community health work through the lens of past, present and future.

NMCHWA’s 12th Annual Conference a Great Success!

Looking at the hundreds of balloons flying overhead in the Albuquerque skies as I make my way to work during the Balloon Fiesta, I am reminded that it is good to dream and envision something that you can’t quite touch but you know that if you work hard enough, you can get there. That is the philosophy that has kept the volunteers who run the New Mexico Community Health Worker Association going for the last 12 years. As we look back to see what NMCHWA has accomplished, we can pat ourselves on the back for the hard work and persistence that has kept our dream alive. The collaboration with the many organizations that continue to support our efforts is evident on page 5 of the fall issue of Las Noticias, the NMCHWA newsletter, as you examine the donor list.

The train the trainer sessions offered at the NMCHWA conference also illustrate efforts to help communities throughout the state by educating CHWs on the front lines of health and social services. These sessions included environmental health in the “Healthy Homes/Hogares Saludables” provided by Jose M. Camacho, UC Berkley, and Jagan Butler, Western New Mexico University Southern Area Health Education Center (WNMU/SOHEC); the “Body Works” Session provided by Marnie Nixon, WNMU/SOHEC, equipped CHWs to help patients with obesity and lifestyle changes; the “How to Start a Support Group” session provided by Patty Anello, RN, NMDOH Diabetes Program and Reneé Despres, PhD, strengthened the connection to the community by providing that support needed to make those lifestyle changes; Patricia Sanches with Women’s Health Services presented the “Heart Truth” workshop whose goal is to put a face on heart disease and motivate women and health professionals to take heart health seriously and engage in action to reduce women’s risks of heart disease. General sessions at the conference included Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Diabetic Retinopathy, Getting started on the Right Foot-Physical Exercise & Movement, Community Mobilization and Updates on Immigration Law.

Although it may sound like the conference was all work and no play, a wild and competitive shopping spree with fashions from NMCHWA’s Mano En Mano Thrift Store, a fashion show and a silent auction were also held. This combined effort helped to raise money for the conference and the Families at Risk Voucher Program at Mano En Mano. Recognition for CHW work was also acknowledged through nominations by patients and peers for the Model Program of the Year, CHW of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award for a CHW and another for Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy on behalf of CHWs.


We were honored to have Department of Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil ,MD, address CHWs during the awards and graduation dinner. His awareness of CHW efforts was evident as he thanked them for the work they are doing in communities to impact the health of families in our state. Each year at the end of the conference we are told that “this was the best ever.” Let us all continue to improve our efforts in closing that knowledge gap for CHWs throughout the nation. In reviewing the evaluations and summarizing the participants comments I can surmise that the 12th annual conference, once again, was very successful.


by B.J. Ciesielski, NMCHWA Chairman of the Board

CHW Association and Network Corner: Community Health Workers 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:, or (617) 624-6016.


State and National CHW Associations and Networks



For more information or to join, please contact Co-Chairs Durrell Fox and Pam Chapman ( or


Staff contacts at the Harrison Institute for Public Law at the Georgetown University Law Center are Jackie Scott, (202) 662-4229, or Sara Hoverter, (202) 662-4233,



Wandy Hernandez, Chair, Chicago Health Connection, 957 W. Washington Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607; (312) 243-4772; Zeida Estrada, Secretary; Gateway to Care, Harris County CAP 6201 Bonhomme #243-S, Houston, TX 77036, (713) 783-4616;


Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network (AzCHOW), Of, By, and For Community Health Outreach Workers;; Lourdes Fernandez, Co-Chair; Flor Redondo, Co-Chair,; Belen Feather, Secretary.



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:, or Maria at:


Orange County CAA (Certified Application Assistor) Task Force, a non-profit professional association for Care Coordinators, Health Advocates, Promotoras etc. They meet once a month for program updates, training and to share best practices as well as to network.  Contact:

Maria Wahab, Chair, Children's Hospital of Orange County, 455 S. Main St., Orange, CA, 92868-3874; Office: (714) 516-4334; Fax: (714) 532-8785; E-mail:


REACH-Workers – the Community Health Workers of Tampa Bay.  Please contact Michelle Dublin, Chairperson of the network, at (727) 588-4018 or



Community Outreach Workers Association of Maryland, INC. (COWAM), 259 North Lanvale Street, Baltimore, Md. 21217, (410) 664-6949 or (410) 669-7960, Carol Payne, (410) 962-2520 (ext. 3062).



Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers (MACHW), Lisa Renee Siciliano, Executive Director,, (508) 856-4852, University of Massachusetts Office of Community Programs, 222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545.



Michigan Community Advocate Association (MICAA), Contact: Maria Alvarez deLopez,; President-Roshawnda S. Thompson -; (616) 356-6205 or (616) 827-2094 or (616) 366-2759.



Minnesota CHW Peer Network out of the Minnesota International Health Volunteers, 122 W. Franklin Ave. #522, Minneapolis, MN 55404, Contacts: LuAnn Werner (612) 230-3255, Andrea Leinberger (612) 230-3254 Chair - Grace Anderson,; Co-Chair -- Anita Buel -



Contact: Dwyan Monroe, Deputy Director, Community Health Worker Institute, NJ AHEC/ UMDNJ-SOM, 42 Laurel Road E., STE. 3200 Stratford, NJ 08084; ph: (856) 566-6024, fax: (856) 566-2754 e-mail:  The New Jersey Community Health Worker Institute is NOT considered a Network or an Association but, it supports and sponsors the NJ CHW Clusters that are now meeting to discuss the strategy for building into a statewide network or association. NJCHWI provide the clusters technical assistants, resources such as coordinating meeting locations, materials and social items and events and trainings for the CHWs.


New Mexico Community Health Workers Association (NMCHWA), P.O. Box 81433, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87198, Web page can be accessed at  Telephone number is (505) 255-1227 and fax (505) 873-5317; or contact BJ Ciesielski,, (505) 272-4741; fax (505) 272-5944.


NEW YORK CITY -Community Health Worker Network of NYC; 425 E. 25 Street, Box 616; New York, NY 10010; (917) 653-9699 phone; Sergio Matos, Romy Rodriguez;;


ROCHESTER - Rochester Outreach Workers Association (ROWA), Latisha Williams, Chair, 585-274-8490;; Lucinda Colindres, (585) 244-9000, ex. 454.


For more information about the Ohio CHW association, contact Jewel Bell at (513) 571-5923;



Oregon Community Health Workers Association, 9000 N. Lombard Street--2nd Floor, Portland, OR 97203, 503-988-3366 x28686, Teresa Ríos,, or Veronica Lopez Ericksen,, or  Noelia Wiggins, Director Community Capacitation Center - (503) 988-3366.



Washington Community Health Worker Network

Lilia Gomez - (360) 786-9722 (ext 230) -

Seth Doyle - (206) 783-3004 (ext 16) -

APHA Membership Information

For those of you who are not members of the CHW Special Primary Interest Group or APHA itself, please consider joining us! If you are a member of APHA, the SPIG also welcomes you to join us as a primary member.


If you are unable to select CHW SPIG as your primary affiliation in APHA, please consider electing the CHW SPIG 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 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.


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 SPIG as your Section/SPIG, please call (202) 777-APHA. You can also check out APHA's Web site 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 SPIG and how you can be involved.


APHA 2007 Community Health Worker SPIG Executive Council


Sergio Matos 

Community Health Worker Network of NYC

(718) 703-9340


Immediate Past Chair/Governing Council Representative

Durrell Fox

New England HIV Education Consortium

Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers

23 Miner Street

Boston, MA 02215

(617) 355-8421



Carl Rush

(210) 745-0560


Governing Council Representative

Lisa Renee Siciliano

Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers

434 Jamaicaway

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

phone: (617) 524-6696 x 102



Chairperson for Committee on Education y Capacitación

Romelia Rodriguez

Community Premier Plus

384 E. 149th Street Suite 504

Bronx, NY 10455

(718) 742-2675 (Phone)

(718) 742-2654 (Fax)

Program Planner 2007

Anne Willaert

Minnesota State University

4 Myers Field House

Mankato, MN 56001

(507) 389-2590


Treasurer and Co-Program Planner

Susan Mayfield-Johnson

University of Southern Mississippi

(601) 266-6266


Special Advisor

E. Lee Rosenthal

Policy Committee Chair

Maria Alvarez deLopez, CHW

MOMS - Mothers Offering Mothers Support

Spectrum Health Hospital

75 Sheldon SE, Suite 203

Grand Rapids, Mi. 49503

Phone: (616) 391-3473

Fax: (616) 391-6185


Liaisons to Other APHA Sections, SPIGs and Caucuses

Tori Booker

Migrant Health Promotion

224 W. Michigan Ave.

Saline, MI 48176

(734) 944-0244


Carl Rush

(210) 745-0560


Communication/Continuing Education

Nell Brownstein

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

4770 Buford Hwy NE MS K47

Atlanta, GA 30341-3717

(770) 488-2570


Newsletter Editor

Gail Hirsch

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 624-6016

Fax: (617) 624-6062



Membership and Recruitment

Dwyan Monroe