February CHW Spotlight Xue Yang

Xue Yang is a Community Health Worker and Wellness Engagement Specialist with Juniper. In his positions with Juniper, Xue educates and connects Minnesotans with evidence-based health promotion classes and community resources to address social determinants of health needs. Xue is a trained leader for three of Juniper’s evidence-based health promotion classes: Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, Living Well with Chronic Conditions, and Living Well with Chronic Pain.

His passion lies in working with diverse communities to ensure everyone receives equitable health care and social services so they can thrive within their communities. Xue credits his family and his mother as the driving force for his positive attitude, hard work ethics and passion for helping those in need.

Xue Yang received his undergraduate degree in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2014 and his Community Health Worker Certification from the Minnesota West Community and Technical College in May of 2021. Xue has experience as a Program Coordinator providing quality services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other complex challenges and experience working with health plans as a behavioral health provider advocate.

On a personal note, Xue is a first-generation Hmong American. Xue’s hometown is located in La Crosse, WI and currently lives with his partner in Oakdale, MN. In his free time, Xue likes to surround himself with nature by taking long, peaceful walks at the Nature Preserve, playing board games and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Xue is currently employed as a Community Health Worker and Wellness Engagement Specialist with Juniper (formerly known as Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging). Xue started out in 2019 with Trellis as a Wellness Engagement Specialist and has expanded his responsibilities with the Community Health Worker role and as a leader for Juniper evidence-based programs. Juniper is a robust network of community-based organizations and health care systems that offers evidence-based programs to help older adults to stay independent and healthy within their communities.

Drum Roll for this week’s CHW Spotlight!!

We really appreciate all the work you do Juan.

Juan serves as a bridge between under-served communities and the health and social service systems. He works within the patient-centered medical home model, which embraces a team approach to chronic disease self-management. In the medical home model, Juan helps to reinforce the patient plan of care and offers assistance in navigating a complex health and human services system. He is an advocate for patients and helps bring awareness of individual and community health needs that are necessary for efficient and culturally sensitive work. He helps to identify patient’s barriers to self-management and utilizes an important skill set to connect patients to resources and advocate for successful patient outcomes.

With each patient touch, Juan completes social determinants of health screening and assesses for other physical, social, and economic barriers that may exist for patients and that might be preventing them from being able to manage their health. He can then do the important work that a CHW (Community Health Worker) does best: To connect patients to the most appropriate services and resources and help navigate access to what is needed.

The Sanford Worthington Clinic in Worthington, MN is happy to have Juan as an onsite, in-person expert for the evidence-based Juniper programs available to their patients. Providers at the clinic can make a referral to a Juniper class based on patient needs, and Juan is the local, trusted resource for contacting and completing the enrollment process for patients.

When asked what his inspiration and motivation for becoming a CHW? Juan replied:

“To help patients get the care they need and get to provide culturally appropriate health education and information help my Spanish community be healthy.”

What do you like most about your work so far?

“What I like most about my job so far is that I am learning more about the local resources in the community, and I am excited to be able to teach patients and connect them to the resources that can help them the most.”

Please Keep up all the wonderful work you do as a CHW Juan!!

CHW Spotlight, Angela R. Fields

Angela R. Fields, Community Health Worker and Leadership Graduate

Angela is a dedicated, passionate and experienced service provider, entrepreneur, mother, and grandmother. Angela credits her mother for inspiring her zest for life, her drive and ambition, and passion for being a helping professional.

Ms. Fields has over thirty years of experience in the healthcare industry. Angela received her Associates Degree in Human Services and her Community Health Worker Certification from Minneapolis Technical College. For over three decades Ms. Fields has worked as an allied health worker in the areas of Phlebotomy, Nursing Assistant, Electrocardiography, Medication Management and as a Mental Health Practitioner. Angela also has an extensive history in clinical laboratory work and in-home health care.

Angela volunteers regularly and is an active and engaged community member for the betterment of those suffering from chronic health issues, mental health diagnosis, substance use disorders and/or with those experiencing economic disparities.

Angela utilizes her talents and abilities in her role as a CHW working collaboratively with multidisciplinary care teams across the spectrum of health and social systems to provide educational, whole health services in a person-centered, culturally aware fashions to the clients she serves.

Angela is currently employed as a CHW with Trellis (formerly known as Metropolitan area agency on aging). Angela is one of the newest team members a program within /trellis called Juniper. Juniper is a network of organizations offering evidence-based programs that help people manage chronic conditions, get fit and prevent falls.

In addition to her roles with MNCHWA and Trellis/Juniper. Angela is a participant and member of the Pillsbury United Twin Cities Strategic Planning Committee and a member of Advisory committee of the Pillsbury Twin Cities CHW Hub project.

On a lighter note, in her free time Angela enjoys the simple things in life such as gardening, cooking, and avidly reading books. She loves spending time with friends and family especially her beloved grandchildren that affectionately refer to her as “Nana.”