The Minnesota CHW Alliance utilities various committees to assist in growing and making meaningful, sustainable changes for the field in Minnesota.
The Legislative Action Committee is one of three subcommittees of the CHW Alliance that meets biweekly every other Tuesday.
Since fall, the legislative committee has grown. Committee members span across various professions, and each with their own connection to the CHW field. All the members are committed to this work because they want to see the CHW field grow and be recognized as a health equity workforce. Over the past several months, members have worked to outline key legislative and policy initiatives that address significant barriers to the CHW field:
- Create a comprehensive definition of CHWs
- Define care coordination in relation to CHW services
- Eliminate the maximum cap on the # of hours CHWs can bill for
- Advocate for greater integration of CHWs into existing health team models (e.g., behavioral health homes, Mental Health crisis services, family home visiting programs)
- Supporting CHW Certificate scholarships for underrepresented communities including BIPOC, deaf and blind individuals, immigrants, and refugees and rural residents
The committee has held meetings with several local leaders to advocate for the CHW role. Most recently, the committee met with Diane Thorson, the former Director of Public Health for Ottertail County. Diane wrote a bill pertinent to CHWs that has been introduced by Representative Franson and Senator Ingebrigsten. The original bill is designed to define care coordination to include access to dental care and it acknowledges CHWs role in addressing social determinants of health. Members are collaborating with Diane to amend and expand the bill’s language. In the coming weeks we will be reaching out to ask CHWs to contact their legislators to advocate for the bill. Please stay tuned!
Co-Authored by Kathleen Call and Shandy Potes Mangra
It may seem as if the Alliance has been quiet lately. There is a lot going on behind the scenes as we live our mission of equitable and optimal health outcomes for all. We have many active committees and exciting things in the works. Chief among them are the following.
The Minnesota CHW Registry is now up and running. Take a look at it here: https://mnchwalliance.org/minnesota-chw-registry/
This work was done by the Registry Committee with the partnership of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. The Registry is a place to post job and educational opportunities, resources, and updates, as well as engage in discussions about the field. We see it as an important tool to grow the field and the use of CHW strategies for health equity.
Our curriculum updating is ongoing. I know, this seems like a long process and it is. It started with getting CHW and stakeholder input and continued through redesigning and updating classes using that input plus faculty and CHW knowledge. We are getting close to complete and it is shaping up nicely. Minnesota’s CHW Certificate Curriculum will remain a leader in the nation. This work is being done by the CHW Alliance Education Committee.
Legislative work is underway and more will be published about that in later blogs and on the Registry. We have an exciting legislative and policy agenda with a growing number of partners.
Finally, we are increasingly involving CHWs in our work. Angela Fields facilitates the CHW Circle, Shandy Potes Mangra assisted with the Registry launch, Hilda Sanchez Herrera helps with social media posting (get on our Facebook and Instagram feeds), CHWs were involved in updating curriculum modules and we have three CHWs co-teaching the Mother’s Recovery Program- more to come about that later too.
So stay tuned and thank you for your continued support of the Alliance. Still waters run deep and there is much to report.
Post Authored by Anne Ganey
Start your Monday off right by checking out this article that highlights the work CHWs are doing with COVID-19 and how they have become a staple in fighting the pandemic.
Community Health Workers, Often Overlooked, Bring Trust to the Pandemic Fight
The Minnesota CHW Alliance is undergoing some website changes and maintenance to create a better user experience! During this time, some of our pages might go down for brief periods. Thank you for your patience while we are under construction.
*The Registry pages should not be impacted during this process*