Online Program

Importance of an organized chw voice in chw policymaking: An Oregon case study

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Elizabeth Fussell, Oregon Latino Health Coalition/Oregon Community Health Worker Association, Portland, OR
Teresa Rios-Campos, CHW, Community Capacitation Center, Multnomah County Health Department, Portland, OR
Alberto Moreno, MSW, Oregon Latino Health Coalition, Portland, OR
Oregon has a long history of CHW organizing. With the advent of health care reform, there has been increased interest and recognition of the value that CHWs can provide when working in both clinical and community setting. As policies and standards begun to be discussed regarding CHWs, CHW leaders and CHW advocates saw a need to formalize past networks and create a professional association that could be actively involved in policy making. The Oregon Community Health Worker Association (ORCHWA) was founded in November of 2011 to provide a unified voice to empower and advocate for CHWs in Oregon. Since its founding, ORCHWA members have played an active and visible role in educating public health and health system professionals about the value of CHWs as well as addressing relevant policy and sustainability issues including: training, certification, employment opportunities, etc. ORCHWA members have been named to the State Non-traditional Health Worker Committee where they are helping to guide the rulemaking processes for the state. As a result of historical work done by ORCHWA members and thanks to the leadership of the State Office of Equity and Inclusion, Oregon has secured CMS approval to make CHW services reimburseable. ORCHWA CHW members will discuss the key elements of ORCHWA's success including: explicit CHW leadership; ongoing membership engagement and leadership development; and development of crucial relationships with staff from state health departments, coordinated care organizations, community colleges, and the many existing CHW programs.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the way in which CHWs are building individual and organizational capacity through the development of the Oregon Community Health Worker Association. Identify how ORCHWA has supported the creation of opportunities and structures for CHWs to inform CHW policy in Oregon across sectors (state, CCOs, medicare reimbursement, etc) Identify ways in which ORCHWA has utilized principles of community organizing, leadership development, and policy analysis to build a strong, self-determining organization. Identify the strengths and challenges of the strategies and models used by ORCHWA to advocate for the CHW profession.

Keyword(s): Health Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the coordinator of the Oregon Community Health Worker Association.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Oregon Community Health Worker Association Coordinator Employment (includes retainer)

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.