Education Committee Update

Education Committee Update

The Education Committee is continuing their work on researching best practices in teaching, updating curriculum, and working with stakeholders. It may seem like it is taking a long time to update the curriculum, but in reality, the process that the Education Committee put in place has made the work move faster and collaboratively.  The certificate will be offered as a 16 academic credit program at all the schools that offer the CHW certificate.  Federal Financial Aid requires programs to be at least 16 academic credits for students to receive funding.  This provides all students an opportunity to access funds to earn college credits and a certificate.  Curriculum updates include a change in focus on topics that stakeholders identified, Social Determinants highlighted more and embedded throughout the curriculum, and course objectives/outcomes streamlined, which resulted in combined classes.  Pathway tracks for content specialties are being identified, but not offered at this time.

Updated Curriculum will be offered by schools starting Fall 2021.  Schools are only able to offer the CHW program if they have sufficient enrollment when they start a program.  Programs need you to help us recruit CHW’s. If you have someone who is interested (friend, co-worker, nursing assistant, dental assistant, front clerk, or other interested employees) please look on the CHW Alliance website for the school nearest you.

 

This wraps up our series of updates on the various Alliance Committees! Check back next week for a special post on Alliance history and as we start a new series you won’t want to miss on opportunities with the Allaince! 

Registry update

Registry Committee Update from Registry Project Manager!

Hello Everyone from the Registry Project Manager, Sydney Bernard!

I hope you all are hanging in there as we approach the first anniversary of our COVID-19 shelter-in-place and my first anniversary of working at the Alliance. I cannot believe it has been a year since I started working with the Registry Committee to create the Minnesota CHW Alliance Registry; we have accomplished so much in just a year! From drawing up the plans, conducting focus groups and interviews, building the registry, and launching, It has been a fun and busy year.

We have had lots of activity on the website and the registry. We decided that it was time to invest in a faster platform, so we have partnered with Brave North Technology to bring some updates to our website to make it faster and even more secure than ever before! While we don’t anticipate any changes to the availability or content of the website and registry, we will let you know if that comes. We are excited to continue to make our website more user-friendly–and if you have any ideas on how to do this, please email mnchwallianceregistry@gmail.com

CHWs are registering, stakeholders are joining as supporters of the initiative, the job and educational opportunities pages are full of relevant material for CHWs, and the discussion boards are very busy with networking and connection! One new feature of our website is that we have a COVID-19 discussion board (for Registry members only) and a webpage with CHW-specific COVID-19 information. We hope both of these resources help you in networking and utilizing tools to navigate this pandemic.

We continue to have a  promotion of $10 off a CHW registration for the first 75 registrants with the code NEWREGISTR, bringing a CHW registration fee down to $20 for access for the whole year! If cost is a barrier to you joining the registry as a CHW, please reach out to the Registry Committee via the email below. We have limited scholarship support and would love to work with you on getting access to the registry.

Interested in joining us or want to know more? Visit the Alliance website for more information about the registry and how to register, including a short instructional video. Questions? Need help to get registered? Scholarship support? Don’t hesitate to contact us at: mnchwallianceregistry@gmail.com

Thanks and kudos to the following CHWs and stakeholders who worked together to design the Registry with helpful input from Minnesota CHWs, supervisors and educators as well as colleagues at the Michigan CHW Alliance and national experts:

  • Registry Committee: Kimberli Barker, Kathleen Call (Chair), Phoebe Chastain, Joan Cleary, Anne Ganey, Jeanne Holfield, Hilda Sanchez-Herrera
  • Sydney Bernard, Registry Project Manager
  • Shandy Potes Mangra, Registry Consultant
  • Adri Lobitz, Registry Manager

We would also like to acknowledge Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota for their support.

Call to action

EXCITING NEWS: Call to Action

A bill was introduced in the MN House and Senate that will result in expansion of CHW services (more information below). We need your help to make sure it gets a hearing. Please reach out to your House and Senate representatives to encourage them to support the bill THIS WEEK.

 

WHO SHOULD YOU CONTACT? 

To find your legislative district, who represents you in the MN House and MN Senate AND their contact info:

https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

The Alliance is especially interested in reaching out to these representatives: 

Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL) District: 26A (Rochester area) (Chair) 
Rep. John Huot (DFL) District: 57B (Rosemount/Apple Valley area) (Vice chair)
Rep. Joe Schomacker (R) District: 22A (Pipestone/Luverne/Marshall area) (Republican lead)

If you live in their districts please take action and reach out to them! 

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?

Below is an EMAIL TEMPLATE to write your House or Senate Representative – feel free to personalize.

 

Honorable Representative/Senator NAME

I am contacting you to request a meeting related to HF69/SF1106, a bill that defines care coordination related to Community Health Workers (CHW). Current statute allows for limited Medicaid reimbursement for CHWs and additional language defining the CHW role and CHW care coordination functions would make it easier for health care employers to support existing CHW services, increase access to these services, and provide support for a professional role that can help address health inequities in Minnesota. 

I am seeking your support of this bill and I request 20-30 minutes to share my personal and professional experience and the perspective of the Legislative Action Committee of the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance. For more information about the impact of the CHW role, please visit:  www.mnchwalliance.org.

I greatly appreciate your time and consideration. 

NAME

FULL ADDRESS (they can see you are a constituent)

PHONE NUMBER (for contact)

 

WHAT WE ARE ASKING FOR?  

The DHS provider manual defines CHWs as “health educators;” this definition is incomplete and there is no definition in statute. The CHW Medicaid statute includes “health education and care coordination” as part of the CHW reimbursable services; however, “care coordination” is not clearly defined and DHS has not included CHW care coordination services in the DHS provider manual. Defining the CHW role and CHW care coordination functions would make it easier for health care employers to capture revenue and support existing CHW services, thereby supporting the CHW field and access to cost-effective CHW services.

 

PROPOSED BILL LANGUAGE (not final) 

Subd. 49. Community health worker. (a) Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trusted, knowledgeable frontline health personnel who typically come from the communities they serve. CHWs bridge cultural and linguistic barriers, assist with access to coverage and care, and improve health outcomes. As critical links between their communities and the health care system, CHWs work to reduce health inequities; boost cultural competence; and empower individuals and communities for better health. (b) For purposes of this subdivision, “care​ coordination” means advocacy, education, and support meant to reduce emergency room use and hospitalizations, increase access to holistic, integrated health and dental care, and connect individuals and families with covered services. Activities support timely use of primary care, emergency services, crisis intervention, hospital and long term care as well as community-based programs. These activities include but are not limited to addressing a client’s chemical, mental, oral, and physical health; social, economic, and housing needs; and linking them to services.

March CHW Circle Meeting Link

March is here and Spring is on its way! As always, the first Wednesday of the month will be the CHW Circle meeting hosted by Angela Fields! The Circle welcomes all CHWs, and those with like roles, to attend to engage in this community support network and discuss the topic of the month.

Below you will find the link and more information on the monthly CHW Circle meeting this coming Wednesday, March  3rd, at 3 PM CT:

Topic: CHW Learning Circle Meeting: Cultural Beliefs Info Session
Time: March 3, 2021 03:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98338018227?pwd=VnVNQkp3NEV4QnJYdytmSXFDNDRoQT09

Meeting ID: 983 3801 8227
Passcode: 996893

Hope to see you there!