Over many decades, CHWs, CHRs, Promotoras and other members of our frontline, community-based, trusted workforce have advocated and organized to articulate the CHW identity. They have worked to grow CHW-led organizations, helped establish a U.S. Dept of Labor classification, and achieved recognition within the ACA as health professionals. CHWS were even identified as essential workers during COVID-19.
Yet CHWs’ identities, origins and capacities are still not well understood in the U.S. – resulting in strategies, policies and programs that often do not respect, protect or authentically partner with us.
NACHW, in partnership with CHWs, CHW Networks and allies across the country have developed the Six Pillars of Community Health Workers – to communicate clearly and succinctly who we are, where we are, what we do, and our capacity and needs for sustainability. This webinar will share the Six Pillars, offer free social media downloads and communication tools from our Six Pillars toolkit, and create space for the voices of diverse CHW leadership to share their challenges and solutions to answer the question: Who are CHWS?
Durante muchas décadas, los CHW, los CHR, las Promotoras y otros miembros de nuestra fuerza de trabajo de primera línea, basada en la comunidad y confiable, han defendido y se han organizado para articular la identidad de los CHW. Han trabajado para hacer crecer las organizaciones dirigidas por CHW, ayudaron a establecer una clasificación del Departamento de Trabajo de EE. UU. y lograron el reconocimiento dentro de la ACA como profesionales de la salud. CHWS incluso fueron identificados como trabajadores esenciales durante COVID-19.
Sin embargo, las identidades, los orígenes y las capacidades de los CHW aún no se comprenden bien en los Estados Unidos, lo que da como resultado estrategias, políticas y programas que a menudo no nos respetan, protegen ni se asocian auténticamente con nosotros.
NACHW, en asociación con CHW, CHW Networks y aliados en todo el país, han desarrollado los Seis pilares de los trabajadores de salud comunitarios: para comunicar de manera clara y sucinta quiénes somos, dónde estamos, qué hacemos y nuestra capacidad y necesidades para la sostenibilidad de esta profesión. Este seminario compartirá los Seis Pilares, ofrecerá descargas gratuitas de redes sociales y herramientas de comunicación de nuestro kit de herramientas de los Seis Pilares, y creará un espacio para que las voces de diversos líderes de CHW compartan sus desafíos y soluciones para responder a la pregunta: ¿Quiénes SON CHWS?
About the presenters:
Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN is the founding Executive Director of the National Association of Community Health Workers, Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change, Aspen Institute Healthy Communities Fellow, and a Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leader. As a woman of African descent, a Community Health Worker, certified patient navigator and survivor of a rare chronic disease, Denise envisions a culture of health where individuals have self-determination and dignity, where communities meaningfully contribute to system design and governance and where societies eliminate structural barriers to well-being. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Denise co-founded the Community Based Workforce Alliance and the Vaccine Equity Cooperative to advocate for national racial equity principles and policies that affirm and sustain community expertise and capacity in COVID-19 response and community recovery and developed the first National CHW Policy Platform with recommendations for public and private institutions to respect, protect and authentically partner with CHWs and their Networks. Denise advises the Rockefeller Foundation, ASTHO, CDC 2109/2110 grantees, the Morehouse School of Medicine, United Health Care and the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care S.A.V.E. in Community and Rural Health Program among others on COVID response, CHW integration, legislation and workforce sustainability. Denise is currently funded by the Johnson and Johnson Foundation to develop a national CHW leadership team and develop a data-driven campaign to advance CHW professional identity, policy leadership and organizational capacity. She has also assembled global and U.S. federal, state and community subject matter experts through funding from Sanofi US to design a National CHW Registry.
Shannon Lijewski is a Michigan native who loves spending time with her family outdoors. As a CHW, she has spent the past 22 years serving the most vulnerable community members through outreach, education, health policy and advocacy. Passionate about community impact, Shannon is a strong advocate in supporting the expansion of Community Health Workers, assisting those who are experiencing homelessness and helping to eliminate food insecurity. She is the creator of the “I AM A CHW” campaign, Founder of the Rural CHW Network and Principal at Everyday Life Consulting whose team brings vast experience that focuses on building individual, organization and community capacity to address social determinants of health through clinical-community linkages and CHW sustainability.