PRC-staff-named-fellow-in-national-Community-Health-Worker-project

PRC staff named fellow in national Community Health Worker project

A national fellowship program has selected Catherine Haywood, Community Service Program Manager at the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC), to be one of two Community Health Workers to lead, coordinate and make recommendations to formalize standards for the Community Health Worker profession.
The fellowship is connected to a project called Community Health Worker Common Core (C3), which is led by the University of Texas Houston and the National AHEC Organization, which supports and advances the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Network. The C3 goal is to create recommendations for implementing common standards of practice and training for Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the United States.
Haywood is the chair of the Louisiana Community Health Outreach Network, or LACHON, which is based in New Orleans and serves as a venue for community health workers to receive professional support to enhance their skills and to advocate for the profession to be recognized as integral to healthcare, public health, and social services systems.
“We feel grateful to have Catherine on our team; we are impressed by her many years of experience working as and with community health workers, her leadership organizing CHWs in Louisiana, and by her understanding of public health prevention issues,” said E. Lee Rosenthal, a member of the C3 project team and a research affiliate at the University of Texas Institute for Health Policy.
The C3 project’s goals are important because unity and common standards are needed as the profession continues to grow, Haywood said.
CHWs need to be united, and we’re not,” Haywood said. “There are too many definitions. We need one definition for who we are.”
CHWs, sometimes referred to as community health representatives, health advisors or promotores in Spanish-speaking communities, are a diverse group of professionals. These frontline health workers provide coaching on healthy lifestyles, connect people to health and social services, recruit people to participate in health studies and research, advocate for healthy community environments, and are trusted by the communities they serve.
Community health workers are included in the Affordable Care Act, they are increasingly recognized for their ability to reduce health disparities, and an occupational code has been developed to track what’s happening in the workforce. However, there is no nationally accepted scope of practice or widely-accepted training program for the profession, though some states have adopted their own practices and programs.
Through the C3 project and Haywood’s fellowship, recommendations will be presented to groups interested in CHWs and used for various purposes, including design of training curricula and creation of CHW practice guidelines at the local, state, and national levels.
“Catherine has played a vital role in developing the CHW workforce locally, and her contributions to this important national effort will be invaluable,” said Ashley Wennerstrom, director of the Louisiana Community Health Worker Institute at Tulane School of Medicine, who nominated Haywood for the fellowship.

Topics:   community health , community advisory board

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