215046 Community Health Workers and State Government Collaborating To Promote Policies That Integrate And Sustain The CHW Workforce

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Gail Hirsch, MEd , Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Cindy Marti, MPH , Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers, Jamaica Plain, MA
Geoffrey Wilkinson, MSW , Office of the Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Collaboration between, and joint leadership of, the organized CHW workforce and the state public health agency are essential for promoting state policies that integrate and sustain the CHW workforce. In Massachusetts, the statewide CHW professional organization (MACHW) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) have worked together for over 10 years to identify critical policy arenas and needs, and strategies for jointly maximizing impact. Together, they have achieved major successes, created a blueprint for future action, and, very significantly, brought to the table and facilitated consensus among a broad range of key public and private stakeholders.

Policy areas for supporting the CHW workforce include: strengthening the professional identity among CHWs, other providers and in communities; identifying funding streams and mechanisms; workforce development, including competency-based core CHW training; considerations of occupational regulation; and establishing a state infrastructure, to coordinate research efforts, workforce surveillance, career and policy development, and capacity-building. Within these policy arenas, MACHW and MDPH make unique contributions, that together lay the foundation and create the forward momentum necessary for systems changes.

With the release of the report of the statewide CHW Advisory Council to the Legislature in January 2010 (“Community Health Workers in Massachusetts: Improving Public Health and Health Care”), MACHW and MDPH are collaborating strategically to implement the report's 34 recommendations. In this interactive session, participants will have the opportunity to share, from their state's perspective, the status of CHW organization and public health agency commitment, as well as identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1) Identify at lease 4 policy arenas essential to integrating the CHW workforce into public health 2) Describe at least 3 collaborative strategies used in Massachusetts that could be adapted for use in their state.

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present becuaes I oversee state public health efforts to promote the community health worker workforce.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.