PRESS RELEASE: NACHW and Partners In Health U.S. Host 2nd Annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For Immediate Release

Partners In Health United States
Rebecca Gifford
[email protected] | 732-757-2966


National Association of Community Health Workers and Partners In Health United States Host 2nd Annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

(March 7, 2024) Washington, D.C. – On March 12, more than 90 Community Health Workers, allies, and advocates from across the country will gather on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and legislative staff during the second annual federal Hill Day, briefing and rally. The advocacy day will be hosted jointly by National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) and the U.S. arm of Partners In Health (PIH-US) to bring critical awareness to the community health worker profession and workforce.

“NACHW’s 2nd Annual CHW Hill Day celebrates CHW professionals as a unique, trusted, community-based, cross-sector and proven workforce who help people in U.S. cities, rural towns, tribal nations, and territories to locate, understand and access clinical, behavioral, and public health resources that prevent disease and promote wellbeing. However, lack of sustainable financing, policies and infrastructure reduces the impact that our workforce can have on health status and outcomes. I am proud to celebrate the compassion, commitment, and capacity of community health workers today and everyday,” said Denise Octavia Smith, CHW and Inaugural Executive Director of NACHW.

Community health workers include promotoras, community health representatives from tribal nations and more than 95 other work titles. Community health workers are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of the community or have an unusually close understanding of the community they serve. This trusting relationship enables them to serve as a link between health or social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. Despite growing recognition of the critical role of community health workers in the U.S., the workforce has struggled with inadequate and unstable funding. The 2024 advocacy day aims to engage congressional leaders on key issues affecting long-term sustainability for the workforce.

“Community health workers are fundamental to building more equitable and resilient health infrastructure,” says Katie Bollbach, Executive Director, PIH-US. “We are proud to partner with the National Association of Community Health Workers to champion solutions for the long-term sustainability and growth of this critical profession in the United States.”

RELATED: Senator Casey Introduces Legislation to Support Community Health Workers, Improve Health Outcomes

Bill strengthens community health workers’ ability to meet local needs and promotes inclusion of community health workers in state-run Medicaid programs

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Community Health Worker Access Act to improve local health workers’ ability to bridge gaps in health outcomes by improving Medicare coverage for their services, including personalized support for illness prevention and recovery. Additionally, the bill encourages states to cover services provided by community health workers under their Medicaid programs.

“Community health workers play a critical role in tackling some of Pennsylvania’s most important health challenges and helping people overcome barriers to getting the care they need,” said Senator Casey. “These frontline health workers are uniquely suited to understand the needs of families and communities. My bill will help continue their critical work connecting Pennsylvanians to care and changing lives.”

“The CHW Access Act will ensure that Medicare eligible persons have access to the health and social services of a local and trusted Community Health Worker without a copay,” said Denise Smith, Inaugural Executive Director of National Association for Community Health Workers. “Health education, referrals, care coordination, navigation and patient advocacy supports from an authentic CHW have proven effective to address food insecurity, management of complex diseases and connects people to social supports that improve their health status and quality of life.”

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