Online Program

Supporting Florida community health workers through policy: Turning collaboration into action

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Brendaly Rodriguez, MA, CTSI- Community Engagement and Cultural Diversity, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Sean Dickerson, MA, Florida Community Health Worker Coalition, Tampa, FL
Carolyn M. Tucker, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Marion Banzhaf, Division of Community Health Promotion - Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL
Maisha Standifer, MPH, Community Engagement and Outreach Core, Center for Equal Health, Tampa, FL
Denise Kerwin, Continuing Education Health Program, St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, FL
Susan Fleming, BSN, MPA, Cancer Program, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL
In November 2011, two bills advancing Community Health Worker (CHW) issues (Senate Bill 886 and House Bill 723) were filed in the Florida legislature. The bills were designed to support the development of a CHW Task Force whose purpose would be to guide the expansion of the CHW workforce across Florida through expanded training and certification. In other states, including Texas, Minnesota, New York,and Massachusetts, legislation was passed which standardized curricula, recognized CHWs, and in some instances, created a certification process. Each bill proceeded to appropriate subcommittees for review,although both bills died in the assigned subcommittee. Similar bills (HB 241 and a Senate companion) have been filed again for the 2013 legislative session to consider.

The Florida Community Health Worker Coalition (FLCHWC) was established in early 2011 by a group of volunteers from various disciplines within the health care environment. Dedicated to promoting and supporting the CHW profession in the state of Florida, FLCHWC has grown to over 200 members meeting by conference calls, webinars, and two face-to-face strategic planning events. Members of FLCHWC participate regularly in subgroups focused on networking/sustainability, curriculum, policy, research, and practice. CHWs play a prominent role within the FLCHWC by holding leadership roles on each subgroup, participating in monthly meetings, and spearheading regional organizing efforts. This presentation will elaborate on policy issues facing CHWs in Florida and challenges and strategies to standardize, recognize and incorporate CHWs into the continuum of the health care team.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the complexities of educating legislators about policy. Describe the coordination efforts required to support the development of a bill. Identify some common barriers to implementing a House and Senate bill.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Since July 2012, I have been the facilitator of the Florida CHW Coalition as part of my job responsibilities at the Florida Department of Health. The Florida CHW Coalition's development has been supported by a Policy, Systems and Environmental Change five-year demonstration grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which I manage as part of the Florida Comprehensive Cancer Control effort.
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.