A Note from the Board Chair

June 13, 2018

Dear Partners, Stakeholders, and Friends of the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance:

We are recently back from our statewide conference, “New Horizons in Community Health” attended by 200 of our colleagues from across Minnesota. The day-long conference brought us together for learning and networking, enabled us to recognize CHW leaders, and come together to envision the next stage of our work together.

I write to share organizational updates with you following our announcement in March of Joan Cleary’s retirement. We continue to move through a series of transitions as we position ourselves for the next exciting chapter for the Alliance. Moving through a leadership transition brings with it an opportunity for the organization to step back and assess where it has been and where it wishes to go. There have already been some early learnings and discoveries for us, most notably that it takes a team to manage the programmatic work as well as the organizational and structural work.

First, on behalf of the Board, I wish to thank Anne Ganey, MPH who initially stepped into the role of Executive Director. Anne is a vital member of our team and we greatly value all that she brings to carrying out our mission. Anne is moving into the role of subject matter expert and consultant. In addition, Joan Cleary remains with the Alliance as a senior advisor and continues to assist with specific projects. As noted in our March announcement, LaTanya Black, a CHW Certificate holder with experience as a CHW, CHW supervisor, and small business owner, will continue to serve in an outreach and advocacy role. We are grateful to Anne, Joan, and LaTanya for their vast wealth of expertise and deep knowledge.

Further, we have hired an interim management firm, Strategic Consulting & Coaching (www.strategic- cc.com), to provide executive leadership and support and strengthening our bandwidth to work on critical programmatic issues. Renae Oswald Anderson is serving as our interim executive director and is supported by Strategic Consulting & Coaching’s team of highly experienced professionals.

As we move through this time of transition, we have identified three primary areas of focus for the Alliance:

  • Education and training for CHWs and those organizations that employ CHWs
  • Advancing the field
  • Continuing policy support in the areas of health access and equity, workforce diversity, and the Triple Aim through federal, state, local, and institutional policy change

On behalf of our Board, thank you for all you do in support of the MN Community Health Worker Alliance. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Cathy Weik, Chair
Board of Directors
Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance
cweik@stratishealth.org
952-853-8519

Health Care Home Issue Brief

In a first-ever study of HCH team composition, the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance and University of Minnesota joined in a community-university research partnership to identify barriers and facilitators to CHW integration. This research fills a gap in understanding drivers of HCH team structure and composition. In view of Minnesota’s head-start in primary care transformation based on 2008 health reform legislation, lessons learned from this state’s experience can help inform implementation of team-based models elsewhere in the U.S. Building on study findings and other key factors, recommended action steps offer pathways to bring the benefits of CHW integration to more HCH patients and teams.

Click here to view the brief.

Get Program, PowerPoints from Our Conference

Couldn’t make it to our June 2014 conference but want to get a taste of the presentations? Want to review information that you heard when you attended? Check out the conference program, plus this menu of PowerPoint presentations delivered during the conference. Just click to download.

Conference Program

Understanding ACOs in Minnesota, Marie Zimmerman, Minnesota Department of Health

CHW Field Basics 1: CHW Scope of Practice and Statewide Curriculum

Health Care Home Spotlight: Early Lessons and Resuts for CHW Integration Promoting Patient Centered Care and Community Health, Tara Nelson, Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association, Jean Gunderson, Mayo Clinic Employee Community Health

Looking Ahead: Plans and Priorities for MNsure Outreach and Enrollments, Jackie Edison and Chrstina Wessel, MNsure

Policy Road Map for Health Equity: Outlook and Opportunities, Michael Scandrett and Emily Zylla, Halleland Habicht Consulting

Health Commons Model, Sahra Noor and Fartun Dirive, Health Commons

Helping Consumers Understand How to Use Their Healthcare Coverage, Leigh Grauman, Portico Healthnet

Peer Counseling: Making a Difference for WIC Families

Working Up Stream: Social Determinants of Health, Alexa Horwart, ISAIAH

The Minnesota Accountable Health Model (SIM Minnesota), Minnesota Department of Human Services

Accessing Primary Care — A Partnership Success Story, Wellshare International

Addressing Healthy Housing Disparities, Rachelle Menanteau Peleska, MPH, National Center for Healthy Housing

Closing the Coverage Gap

Across the US, health insurance exchanges are under development. Authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, they will connect people to affordable coverage options. Here in Minnesota, our exchange, known as MNsure, is designed to be a convenient health insurance marketplace to find and compare health plans beginning Oct 2013, MNsure will include an online tool for enrollment along with a statewide network for outreach and one-to-one assistance. That’s where CHWs come in. As trusted and knowledgeable members of the communities they serve, CHWs will be an important resource to many uninsured and underinsured individuals and families.

To join this network, CHW employers will need to apply to become MNsure consumer assistance entities. To qualify as MNsure navigators and in-person assisters, CHWs will need to be trained and certified by MNsure. Funding to support outreach and in-person assister infrastructure will be available through several different MNsure grant programs. For the timeline and other important information, visit: http://www.mn.gov/hix/your-benefits/consumer-assistants.jsp