CHW Section Leader Appointed to National Health Care Workforce Commission
Lisa Renee Holderby, Director of Health Equity for Community Catalyst and former Chair of the APHA CHW Section, was appointed to the National Health Care Workforce Commission by Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Holderby, a Worcester resident and long-time community health worker and advocate, is among 15 people in the nation chosen to advise policymakers on ways to improve the health care workforce.
"The voice of consumers and communities is crucial to the work of the National Health Care Workforce Commission," said Holderby. "In order to better serve communities across the nation, the health care workforce must understand diverse community needs. Community Catalyst is committed to ensuring the consumer voice is heard in all aspects of health care, and this appointment is a great opportunity to bring a much-needed consumer perspective to the Commission's important work."
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Commission to serve as a national resource for Congress, the President and states and localities; to communicate and coordinate with federal departments to develop and commission evaluations of education and training activities; to identify barriers to improved coordination at the federal, state and local levels and recommend ways to address them; and to encourage innovations that address population needs, changing technology, and other environmental factors.
Visit the GAO's website to access press releases and learn more about other appointees, including their bios.
CHW Section History
In 1970, some 500 CHWs and their supporters joined together within APHA in what they then called the New Professionals Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG). Their name was chosen in protest against the many terms used to describe them, including non-professional, sub-professional, aide, auxiliary and para-professional. In the 1980’s, membership and activity in the SPIG declined but continued to present a limited program and hold a business meeting during the Annual APHA Meeting through the persistent and caring leadership of Ruth Scarborough, a CHW from Philadelphia. Throughout the 1990’s, the SPIG was able to revitalize this important CHW voice within APHA. A group of dedicated CHWs and advocates explored ways to make APHA accessible to CHWs and advocated for CHWs to resume governing leadership roles within the SPIG. In 2000, the New Professionals SPIG changed their name to the Community Health Worker SPIG.
The CHW Section has consistently been involved in APHA governance since 2000 when we gained our first Unaffiliated Governing Councilors, E. Lee Rosenthal and June Grube-Robinson. That same year, the CHW SPIG submitted a resolution in support of CHWs: Policy Resolution #200115, “Recognition and Support for Community Health Workers’ Contributions to Meeting our Nation’s Health Care Needs.” The resolution was formally adoptedin 2002. Currently, we have two Unaffiliated Governing Councilors, Lisa Renee Holderby and Durrell Fox, who are both active and respected CHWs with national leadership positions.
Our goal is to continue to develop policy within and outside of APHA that supports CHWs.
Our goal is to continue our tradition of electing CHWs to our highest leadership positions, with support from CHW allies and students. This national recognition of the CHW leadership serves as a source of inspiration and power for CHWs everywhere.
Our goal is to recruit and retain CHWs, CHWs allies, and students as members of the Section. This will occur through local and regional CHW networks, health networks, academic networks, and independent professional associations of CHWs throughout the United States and the Native American Nations, and at national meetings where CHWs gather.