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History of the Minnesota CHW Alliance- Minnesota’s CHW Coverage Legislation: History and Lessons for the Future.

In 2007, Minnesota Community Health Workers (CHW) and allies achieved a major policy milestone with the successful passage of CHW coverage legislation. Minnesota became one of the first states to obtain Medicaid payment for specific services provided by trained and trusted CHWs (Minn State Statutes 256B.0625, sub 49).

Learning about the birth and passage of this landmark bill as well as its implementation and results is important to understanding how we can continue to effectively advocate going forward. Building on our successes and addressing our challenges, we will create a strong and sustainable CHW field that advances health equity.

For the full story and more details head to the History page on our website under the About tab to read more on major provisions, keys to success, implementation and result, and what’s next. 

LSU Health Logo

Research Participation Opportunity

LSU Health Sciences Center- New Orleans, the National Association of Community Health Workers and the Louisiana Community Health Outreach Network are working together to learn more about community health workers and Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs, also known as health insurance companies that serve people with Medicaid). 

Are you a community health worker (CHW), CHW supervisor or administrator who works at a Medicaid MCO? Or are you a CHW, CHW supervisor or administrator at an organization that receives a contract for CHW services from an MCO? 

If so, we invite you to participate in a brief 10-15 minute survey to help us learn more about how CHWS are working in Medicaid managed care organizations. People who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $50 debit gift card.

CHWs

Click here to access the survey and more information.

If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your web browser: https://is.gd/CHAMPSCHW

Supervisors and administrators

Click here to access the survey and more information.

If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your web browser:

https://is.gd/CHAMPSEMPLOYER

Closing the loop on the Call to Action

We have some good news and bad news to share. The bad news is that the CHW bill (HF69/SF1106) did not receive a hearing this year. The good news is that we will try again next year. Thanks to everyone who wrote to your House and Senate representatives to encourage support of the bill. Your voice is so important.

The CHW Legislative Action Committee will take this year to prepare, cultivate relationships between CHWs and legislators, and provide training and support to CHWs interested in getting involved. Please watch for future opportunities to get involved in a variety of ways!

Here are some actions you can take now and in the future! 

  • Meet with your legislators to tell them about CHWs and the good work they do
    • Use this link to see who your representatives are https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/
  • Write legislators for support of a future bill
  •  Review draft bill language 
  • Provide testimony at hearings- we will have more information on this in the future. 

We are committed to moving forward WITH you! If you would like to get involved please reach out to mnchwallianceregistry@gmail.com!

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.