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Community Health Worker - Archived Newsletters
Section Newsletter
Winter 2004

Letter from the Chair

February 2004

Dear Colleagues:

From the Chair, welcome to the current issue of our newsletter! I want to thank the CHW SPIG Executive Board and all of our supporters who made last year’s APHA Annual Meeting in San Francisco one of the most successful ever for CHWs. We hosted 10 sessions, all of which enjoyed standing room only attendance. The SPIG Board will continue to work with our Program Planner to request bigger rooms for next year’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., which has the theme of “Public Health and the Environment.” I want to give thanks to the SPIG Board for supporting a youth session at the Annual Meeting. For seven years, I have organized, moderated and presented a session featuring talented youth presenters. This year we had two very gifted youth presenters (from Michigan and San Francisco), who shared the podium and brought forth the very important youth voice.

The CHW SPIG is looking to recruit more active CHWs to join our membership and leadership ranks. Please contact any Board member to learn how to join and how to get involved in planning, subcommittees and other items of importance and interest to CHWs. We will continue to map out and explore a number of issues in 2004. One area discussed during our January conference call was CHW credentialing and certification; there are at least two states and a couple of cities that have or will shortly have CHW certification/credentialing guidelines in place. The SPIG, primarily through our newly reactivated Policy Committee, will explore giving policy guidance on emerging certification issues. The SPIG strongly advocates for CHWs as decision-makers and key advisors for any state or citywide CHW certification or credentialing initiatives.

The CHW SPIG will continue to be a link for CHW networks and associations across the country through our leadership team, as well as through our CHW Network Corner in each edition of this newsletter. As the year progresses, leadership members will be involved in plotting the course for local and national CHW policies that will help lead the way for a national CHW-led organizing force to stand tall for CHW interests. CHWs must continue to participate and present at local and national conferences and training programs so we that we can share our voice and expertise with other health care and public health professionals.

I urge all of you to join our SPIG, become active in our leadership and share information about the state of CHWs in your city, state, and region.

Durrell J. Fox

2003 Annual Meeting: A Good Time Was Had by All!

Yvonne Lacey, Former CHW SPIG Chair
   Yvonne Lacey,
   Former CHW
   SPIG Chair
San Francisco, with all its diversity and beauty, provided an appropriate setting for showcasing the unique and dynamic work of Community Health Workers at the 2003 Annual Meeting.

Auccess on Display

A full house attended the kick-off session on Popular Education, and from there, the numbers of attendees just kept growing. Over the course of the three-day program, Community Health Workers, Program Directors, national, state and local public health professionals, academicians, and health advocates came together to reflect upon the impact CHWs play in improving health and well-being. As described in the 45 oral and poster presentations, this impact extends across the country and across the globe as CHWs take on maternal/child health, adolescent health, community and systems change, holistic health, cancer, diabetes, empowerment, and mental health.

Said Ramona Benson, a CHW from Berkeley, Calif., “I enjoyed being a presenter at APHA, I have presented at APHA a couple of times before, but this time was very powerful. It was exciting looking out into the audience and seeing the room full to capacity. It was empowering to see all who were present and interested in the innovative and creative ways CHWs reach out to their community.”

Getting the Wheels Turning
Continuing a discussion that was dormant for a few years, the Network of College-Supported CHW Education Programs met early in the week. Representatives from approximately 10-15 colleges resumed their dialogue for a more coordinated approach to CHW college-supported education. They hope to have a longer meeting in 2004 to begin to build consensus around best practices for CHW education in college settings.

At the 6:30 a.m. business meeting, diehard supporters met to review current activities and to plan for next year’s program. New attendees offered fresh ideas for sessions and for soliciting support to send CHWs to Washington DC. The torch was officially passed from former chair, Teresa Rios to Durrell Fox.

Having Fun
APHA was not all about sessions and meetings, however! SPIG members and supporters made time for fun at the social hour, which featured a mashed potato bar and a rousing raffle emceed by our incoming chair, Durrell Fox. The highlight was awarding Yvonne Lacey a lifetime achievement award for her dedicated years of commitment to advancing the role of CHWs in the Bay Area, nationally and within APHA. To read an interview with Yvonne, please see the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Web site at Kudos to Susan Mayfield-Johnson for organizing the social hour, which is unofficially becoming an annual event!

Getting the Message Out
Elena Schwolsky and Sergio Matos made sure the SPIG’s presence was in full force in other areas of the meeting through their program promotion efforts. For the first time in many years, the SPIG sponsored a booth in the exhibit hall. We had a regular flow of folks stopping by to learn about the SPIG’s activities, CHWs nationwide, and to pick up a treat or two.

What It's All About
The highlight of the whole meeting was the active participation of CHWs in the program. For the first time ever, each session included CHWs describing their work in their own words. This presence and energy graced all of the sessions and was the most important contributor to the week’s success.

"The APHA conference in San Francisco this year was astonishing! The Community Health Worker SPIG sessions were attended by many more CHWs than last year. Most of our sessions were filled to capacity. Because the CHW SPIG emphasizes CHW participation in the presentations, many CHWs had a chance to present their work, including me. I felt so proud to be able to present my work to such a gathering of CHWs and other interested persons. Our sessions were interactive, fun, interesting and innovative. I found many of the sessions very moving and motivating. I am very proud to be a part of this national movement of our field and grateful to have been able to participate in the conference." - Romelia Rodriguez, Community Health Worker, New York City

With Gratitude

Thank you to the Program Planning Committee and to the Abstract Reviewers for their creativity and work during the year-long process of planning the program!

Gail Ballester
Nell Brownstein
Yvonne Lacey
Maria Lemus
Susan Mayfield-Johnson
Teresa Rios
Betsy Rodriguez
Elena Schwolsky – special thanks for co-leadership!
Lisa Renee Siciliano
Rita Taylor

APHA Annual Meeting 2004 - Mark Your Calendar for D.C.!

Watch out Washington, D.C.--here we come! The Community Health Worker Special Primary Interest Group invites YOU to join us in Washington, D.C. from Nov. 6-10 for a wonderful program that will explore the vital role of Community Health Workers in public health. There is still time for you to submit an abstract to present your program and share your accomplishments and challenges. The CHW SPIG gives special consideration to papers presented or co-presented by CHWs. Please find the Call for Abstracts online at: Please note that the deadline for submission is Feb. 20, 2004.

At last year’s conference in San Francisco, our full three-day program drew hundreds of participants to dynamic sessions where the presence of frontline workers as presenters was greater than ever and participants heard from a range of diverse programs across the United States and internationally. Skill-building workshops in popular education and program evaluation drew an enthusiastic response, and a town hall meeting provided a forum for a regional exchange of information and ideas.

Building on the success of the 2003 meeting, the CHW SPIG is committed to creating a program for 2004 that is even more meaningful to CHWs and their advocates. We are especially interested in papers that will allow CHWs themselves to share their experiences and inform audiences about the impact of CHWs in their own voice. We are also especially interested in having local programs (all you folks in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland!) present their work. So please start planning now to join us in creating a dynamic, relevant program for APHA Washington, D.C.!

If you have any questions or need assistance in submitting an abstract, please don’t hesitate to contact the follow CHW SPIG members who have volunteered to help with the process:

Elena Schwolsky, Program Planner 2004-5
Hunter College, New York City

Tori Booker, Program Planner 2002-3
Migrant Health Promotion, Michigan

Susan Johnson, CHW SPIG secretary
Center for Sustainable Health Outreach, Mississippi

CHW Network Corner

In this Winter 2004 issue, we are continuing a regular feature we started in the last issue in response to the growing interest across the country in organizing CHWs. State and regional CHW networks play a key role in CHW organizing. Through these networks, CHWs create opportunities to meet each other, to share resources and strategies, to build skills, and to receive training. Networks are forums for CHWs to identify job issues such as recognition within the larger public health and health care communities, public understanding of CHWs, and professional development and career ladders. A network can be a voice for CHWs in advocating for policies that promote and sustain CHWs and improve the health of our communities.

You will find below a list of some of the CHW networks (statewide and local), with contact information. In upcoming issues, we will highlight various networks. If you know of other networks not listed here, please contact the newsletter editor, Gail Ballester, at, or (617) 624-6016.

State and Regional Networks

Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network (AzCHOW), Of, By, and For Community Health Outreach Workers;

Lours 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,

Community Health Worker Training Program, Hawaii Primary Care Association, Napualani Spock, Coordinator, P.O. Box 264, Pu'unene, HI 96784, Ph: (808) 280-0984; Fax: (808) 573-0734;

Community Outreach Workers Association of Maryland, INC. (COWAM), 259 North Lanvale Street, Baltimore, Md. 21217, (410) 664-6949 or (410) 669-7960, Dwyan Monroe, President.

Massachusetts Community Health Worker Network (MACHW), Durrell Fox, Chair,, (617) 262-5657, c/o Massachusetts Public Health Association, 434 Jamaicaway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

New Jersey
Extensions - Connecting Outreach Workers Throughout New Jersey and Beyond
Purpose: Extensions is proud to be the formalized, voluntary, statewide educational association for New Jersey Outreach Workers. Extensions' purpose is to connect Outreach Workers located throughout the state and to provide opportunities for current information exchange. Extensions is the creation of the Gateway Maternal and Child Health Consortium, one of the New Jersey Maternal and Child Health Consortium. Goals: 1. To provide linkage to other Outreach Workers throughout the state and nationally. 2. To support regional efforts. 3. To promote awareness and recognition of the occupation of outreach work. For membership application and more information, call Gateway MCH Consortium at (973) 268-2280 or Pat Wrazz at:

NJ Community Health Workers’ Institute, For additional information, contact Robin Eubanks (UMDNJ-SHRP) at (973) 972-4136,, or Linda Boclair (NJ AHEC) at (856) 963-2432.

Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies of Essex, Nichele J. Wilson,
303-309 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102, (973) 621-7758,

New Mexico
New Mexico Community Health Workers Association (NMCHWA), P.O. Box 81433
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87198,, or BJ Ciesielski,, (505) 272-4741.

Executive Board Contact info:
President--Sylvia Ornelas (505) 982-5460
Vice President--Terri Smith (505 894-0543
Secretary--Margarita Jaquez (505) 882-7370
Treasurer-- Teresa Saiz (505) 262-2480 X232

New York
New York City - Community Health Worker Network of NYC; 425 E. 25 Street; New York, NY 10010; (212) 481-7667 phone; Sergio Matos, Elena Schwolsky, Rita Taylor, and Romy Rodriguez.

Rochester Outreach Workers Association (ROWA), Latisha Williams, Chair, (585) 274-8490.

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

Texas Tech University Health Sciences, El Paso, Dr. D. Williams, office line: (915)545-6552, Lorenza Zuniga - (915) 545-6902.

Virginia Statewide CHW Network. All contact information can be found at:

Unity 2004, March 24-26 -- Community Health Workers: Changing Health Care Delivery

Unity 2004 will be held March 24-26, 2004, at the Grand Casino Oasis Resort and Spa in Gulfport, Miss., the site of Unity 2001. The theme for Unity 2004 is “Community Health Workers: Changing Health Care Delivery.” The conference will address the importance of community health workers to the health care and human services delivery systems; ways to develop and sustain CHW programs; and methods of overcoming barriers to CHW program success. Unity 2004 is an opportunity for CHWs to share knowledge, information, and expertise with other CHWs and interested parties.

The conference will include plenary sessions with addresses from keynote speakers and panelists, as well as numerous workshop sessions. The plenary sessions will include “Federally funded Initiatives Related to CHWs,” and “CHW Coalitions and Networks,” among others. In addition, the conference will offer workshops on CHW training, program evaluation, special target populations, skill building, advocacy for CHW programs, and stress reduction for CHWs. An agenda will be made available in February. Community health workers are strongly encouraged to attend. Unity 2004 is an opportunity for community health workers to share knowledge, information, and expertise with other community health workers and interested parties.

Exhibit space will be available during Unity 2004. A tiered pricing scale for exhibitors has been established. The conference registration fee is $200 and includes training, materials, and breakfast and lunch each day. Conference fee waivers are available to CHWs on an individual basis.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast, with its wonderful restaurants, shopping, cultural activities, live entertainment, golfing, and beachcombing, is an exciting place for a conference. All these activities are located within walking distance or a short cab ride from the Grand Casino Oasis Resort and Spa. The Grand Casino Oasis Resort and Spa is a beachfront hotel with many luxury amenities including state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a full-service salon and spa, restaurants, unique specialty shops, and Las Vegas-style entertainment. A special room rate of $79 per night has been negotiated for Unity 2004 participants who book their hotel rooms before Feb. 23, 2004.

The conference registration deadline is March 1, so don’t delay sending in your registration form. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Susan Mayfield-Johnson at (601) 266-6266 or <>. We hope to see you in Gulfport in March for a great Unity conference!

What’s New on the Web: The Community Health Worker Evaluation Tool Kit

To find Community Health Worker (CHW) evaluation tools, visit the University of Arizona’s new Web site at The site features the Community Health Worker Evaluation Tool Kit (Tool Kit, 2000) developed by a University of Arizona team with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Tool Kit was developed when another Foundation-supported project at the University, the National Community Health Advisor Study (1998), revealed that limited evaluation resources and skills challenge U.S. CHW programs (the summary is also newly on the Web at To address these challenges the Tool Kit team asked seasoned U.S CHW programs to share their evaluation lessons learned and their evaluation tools.

What’s In the Tool Kit?
The Tool Kit’s tried and true evaluation instruments contributed by CHW programs from throughout the United States are organized around four target areas and assess a range of changes from those in individuals and families to community-level changes. A cost-benefit primer developed especially for the Tool Kit is also included. A popular education exercise to promote CHW participation in evaluation was also newly developed for the Tool Kit. Another resource in the Tool Kit is a detailed review of a Logic Model framework developed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to promote outcome-oriented program planning and evaluation efforts. Other valuable resources in the Tool Kit include tips on community-based evaluation and grant writing and evaluation case studies from diverse urban and rural CHW programs.

Contacting the Tool Kit Team:
To learn more about the Tool Kit, to purchase a CD-ROM version of the Tool Kit, or to get training or technical assistance on CHW program evaluation write the Tool Kit team c/o (Article submitted by E. Lee Rosenthal, PhD, MPH)

APHA 2004 Community Health Worker SPIG Executive Board

Durrell Fox
New England HIV Education Consortium
Massachusetts Community Health Worker Network
23 Miner Street
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 262-5657

Chair Elect and Member Retention
Sergio Matos
Community Health Outreach
Health Plus PHSP, Inc.
195 Montague Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Immediate Past Chair
Teresa Ríos
Community Capacitation Center
Multnomah County Health Department
Phone: (503) 988-3366 Ext. 28686
Fax: (503) 988-6923
Cc e-mail to: Noel Wiggins:

Former Chair
Yvonne Lacey
Berkeley Health Department
1767 Alcatraz Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 644-6500

Susan Mayfield-Johnson
Center for Sustainable Health Outreach
University of Southern Mississippi
Southern Station Box 10015
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0015
(601) 266-6266

Policy Committee Chair and Governing Council
Lisa Renee Siciliano, LSWA
Massachusetts Public Health Association and
Massachusetts Community Health Worker Network
4 Lancaster Terrace
Worcester, MA 01609
Phone: (508) 791-5893

Immediate Past Governing Council
June Grube Robinson
724 Hoyt Ave.
Everett, WA 98201
(425) 249-2019

Lee Rosenthal
2250 East 8th Street
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 882 2105 x2

Program Planner 2004
Elena Schwolsky
CHW Project
Hunter College of CUNY
425 E. 25th St.
Box 591
New York, NY 10010
(212) 481-5193

Liaison to other APHA Sections, SPIGs and Caucuses
Tori Booker
Associate Director
Migrant Health Promotion
224 W. Michigan Ave.
Saline, MI 48176
Tel: (734) 944-0244
Fax: (734) 944-1405

Communication/Continuing Education
Nell Brownstein
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
4770 Buford Hwy NE MS K47
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
Phone: (770) 488-2570
Fax: (770) 488-8151

Newsletter Editor
Gail Ballester
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 624-6016
Fax: (617) 624-6062

Member Recruitment
Dwyan Monroe