225211 Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network (AzCHOW) : Creating Unity and Honoring Diversity

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cynthia Thomas , All in the Family LLC, Tucson, AZ
Maria Fernandez, Promotora , University of Arizona, Promotora Office , Canyon Ranch Center for Health Prevention and Health Promotion, Tucson, AZ
Floribella Redondo , Campesinos Sin Fronteras, Somerton, AZ
Samantha Sabo, MPH , Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Maia Ingram, MPH , Assistant Professor of Mexican American Studies and Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Greg Macdonald , Univerity of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of PublicHealth, Tucson, AZ
Lorena Verdugo , Board of Directors, AZCHOW, Tucson, AZ
The Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network (AzCHOW) is a statewide organization designed to create unity while preserving cultural diversity among community health workers. Since 2003, AzCHOW has provided a forum to inform and unite community health workers of all disciplines to strengthen the professional development of the field through resource sharing and collaborative opportunities with community, government, health, and educational institutions. AzCHOW is lead by a 12 person advisory board and comprised of more than 100 diverse members from tribal nations, US-Mexico border regions, as well as urban and rural areas of the state. Members create partnerships to build upon organizational capacities and strengths while serving the underserved and at-risk population within the state, as well as address relevant political and policy issues. Network members also lead by using resource sharing, partnership development, education, outreach, health promotion, and disease prevention strategies to improve the health of Arizona residents. Methods: Testimonials of AzCHOW founding and current board members, AzCHOW membership and their institutional supporters were collected and analyzed. Results: Board members will discuss challenges and opportunities in creating a space for Community Health Workers (CHWs) to develop a collective voice in addressing relevant policy and sustainability issues, as well as the expansion of the CHW field. The history and organizational structure of the Network will provide context for this discussion. Conclusion: AzCHOW is an emerging CHW Network making great strides in moving CHWs forward in the region. Lessons learned and their vision for the future will be shared.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the history and organizational structure of AzCHOW. 2. Discuss major challenges and successes in strengthening the professional development of AzCHOW members. 3. Define the vision for creating unity and preserving cultural diversity among community health workers.

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I work as a Community Health advisor and sit on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Community Health Outreach Network.
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.