MN CHW Registry FAQ
Q: Who are CHWs and what is their role in the healthcare field?
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are front-line health workers, typically from the communities they serve, who address health disparities and social determinants of health by providing culturally-competent health education, care coordination, advocacy, and other services under their scope of practice. As an emerging health profession, CHWs are increasingly becoming integrated into medical teams and health care delivery systems with great effect.
CHWs are still new to many Minnesota health and human service agencies, and the field faces challenges related to awareness, recognition, and integration into team-based models. Stronger connections between CHWs, healthcare and public health systems, payers, policy-makers, community-based organizations, employers, and other allies are needed to sustain this innovation and maximize its potential to help address Minnesota’s persistent health inequities.
Q: What is a registry?
A statewide CHW registry, organized and maintained by the Alliance, is a voluntary listing of Minnesota CHWs. This platform serves as a centralized database of CHWs in Minnesota.
Q: Why does Minnesota need a CHW registry?
A CHW registry provides a strong foundation for strengthening the CHW field, helping to support community building among CHWs and connections with agencies and employers across sectors and geographic locations. This registry can help track how many CHWs work in Minnesota and identify better integration of this workforce on healthcare teams.
Q: Who will be on the registry?
Minnesota CHWs work under many different titles and in many different settings. The statewide registry will seek participation by all those working under the broad CHW umbrella in our state. It will include those who have completed Minnesota’s model CHW certificate program (“certificate-holders”) as well as experienced CHWs who have not as yet attained this credential. It will include community health representatives (CHRs) who work in tribal agencies and IHS facilities as well as promotoras/es du salud who serve Latinx communities.
Q: Do I have to have a CHW certificate to join the CHW registry?
No, a certificate is not required. We ask that you work in the Community Health Worker field or are working to return to the field as a CHW. We will have a question indicating whether CHWs have a certificate, as some employers are interested in hiring only certificate holders.
Q: What are some ways that Minnesota benefits from a CHW registry?
By having a registry of CHWs in Minnesota, the Alliance is able to be a better partner to CHWs; employers; researchers; state and local governments, policymakers, and payers; community-based organizations, and communities impacted by health inequities.
The benefits of the CHW registry include, but are not limited to:
- Cultivates an opportunity for CHWs to increase communication within the field, allowing for information to be brought to one place for professional development, networking, policy advocacy, and career advancement
- Efficiently links employers recruiting CHWs with qualified job seekers including a location to post job postings to the field
- Builds a deeper understanding of the size, composition, and diversity of the CHW profession
- Identifies CHW shortage areas in the state of Minnesota
- Creates a better understanding of the full potential of the CHW role
The ultimate aim of improving the workforce in this way is to continue to better serve communities that are systematically affected by health and social inequities.
Q: How will the registry work?
To join the registry, CHWs will pay an annual fee. These funds will be used by the Alliance to operate the registry. Upon payment of the yearly dues, or having an employer sponsor their yearly membership, the CHW will create or update their account of professional identifiers and select privacy settings. The CHW registrant will have login capabilities on the Alliance website that gives them easy and early access to employment, learning, and professional development opportunities. Depending on the privacy settings selected, the Alliance can give employers, local policymakers, or researchers high-level data about the CHW workforce in Minnesota. With input by CHWs and CHW supervisors, the Alliance is finalizing registry content and access guidelines. Further details will be available later this summer.
Q: When will the registry be launched?
The registry will be ready for CHWs to join fall of 2020.
Q: How can I learn more?
We welcome your input and resources! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact information.