Community Health Worker (CHW) Movement in Hawai‘i: Moving Towards a CHW Association

Authors: Jessica Yamauchi MA; Rie L. Kuhaulua PsyD, MPH; Stephanie Moir MPH; Claudia Hartz; Alexis T. Barnett-Sherrill MPH, MS; Cristina L. Vocalan BSN, RN; Roella V. Foronda MPH; and Gregg S. Kishaba BS
Year: 2019
State: NatDoc: National Document
Website link:
Publicly Available: Yes
Certification: Administration - certification boards state health departments etc., CHW input in process, Process and development, Role of state government
Evidence Generation: Surveys and assessment tools to define and develop workforce
Policy: General language around CHW WD
Sustainable Financing: Surveys and assessment tools to define and develop workforce
Workforce Development: CHW training programs (not cert.), General other (including mention of “employment practices”), Outreach campaigns to identify CHWs, Recruiting and convening CHWs stakeholders, Training- Content modes delivery

This editorial presents the perspectives of allies – a group of governmental, university and public health organizations that support the creation of a professional association for CHWs in Hawai‘i. We support the efforts of CHWs as they organize and move towards establishing a professional association. Hawai‘i CHWs have held monthly meetings starting in 2017 to discuss variety of issues around their work and share information and experiences. A group of CHWs and allies developed a strategic plan in 2018 in preparation to establish a professional association. They shared the results with colleagues from across the state. One desirable outcome for many was a professional CHW association. Such an association could be a forum of shared learning, information sharing, networking, and advocating for workforce and professional development issues, such as training, reimbursement for services, credentials, and certifications. Furthermore, allies support CHW-led efforts to develop an association, for instance, by securing diversified funding sources for CHW trainings, networking, and planning activities. Allies also help by informing supervisors, employers, and policymakers about the importance of trainings and other workforce and professional development for CHWs. A professional association for CHWs in Hawai‘i could be useful to many. This editorial provides more insights into this topic.

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