NCOA Connect

Engaging Community Health Workers in Evidence-Based Programs

Community Health Workers (CHWs) serve as a connection between medical and social services and their communities. Community health

image

workers typically come from the community they work in, and they may be called different titles such as peer health educators, lay health advocates, community health representatives, or promotoras. Community-based organizations are also using CHWs to screen for social determinants of health and to deliver evidence-based programs, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs. 

This webinar series will:

  • Raise awareness about the role of Community Health Workers to implement evidence-based programs and help drive referrals
  • Discuss avenues for sustaining and reimbursing CHWs
  • Highlight how CHWs can help organizations reach diverse populations and address social determinants of health factors

Registration Details:

  • This series includes 4 live 60-minute webinars on February 22, March 9, 16, and 24th. 
  • Registration is FREE, and registrants will have access to both the live webinars and the recordings. 
  • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email, as well as email reminders prior to each live webinar with a link to join the event.

View Series

  • Contains 3 Component(s)

    Join us for a presentation from Juniper to learn how they have integrated programming into care settings using Community Health Workers trained in fall prevention programs. Speakers will highlight how Community Health Workers offer social determinants of health screenings, care navigation, health promotion programming, and referrals for falls prevention programs and other long-term services in supports. Juniper will also discuss how they plan to sustain this role beyond their grant.

    Join us for a presentation from Juniper to learn how they have integrated programming into care settings using Community Health Workers trained in fall prevention programs. Speakers will highlight how Community Health Workers offer social determinants of health screenings, care navigation, health promotion programming, and referrals for falls prevention programs and other long-term services in supports. Juniper will also discuss how they plan to sustain this role beyond their grant.

    Sarah Blonigan, JD, MPH

    Juniper Network Director

    Trellis

    Sarah Blonigan is the Juniper Network Director at Trellis. Her background spans the fields of public health, state and federal health care regulations and compliance, and law.

    Juniper is a network of over 85 community-based providers throughout Minnesota that offer evidence-based health promotion classes. The classes are offered in community settings and healthcare settings. Juniper and its network of providers improve the health outcomes related to disease management and falls prevention.

    As the Juniper Network Director Ms. Blonigan leads the daily operations of the Juniper provider network while contributing to the development of forward-looking strategy.

    Ms. Blonigan draws on a broad range of experience as the Juniper Network Director including public health leadership at a tri-county Community Action Program agency; research at University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center; research at Mitchell Hamline Public Health Law Center; health care regulation, compliance, and statutory drafting at the Minnesota Department of Health Regulatory Division; health care provider licensing matters at the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings; health care fraud and abuse at the Department of Justice Civil Division; and legal research for long-term care providers at a Twin Cities law firm.

    Ms. Blonigan received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology and Public Health Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota. She received her Juris Doctor and health care compliance and health law certificates from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, where she served as President of the Health Law Society.

    A lifelong Minnesotan, Sarah lives in St. Paul with her spouse Tony and their two children. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time outdoors and enjoying nature and doodling.

    EDUCATION

    J.D., (health law and health care compliance) Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, MN, 2018

    M.P.H., (policy and administration), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2017

    B.A., (biology) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2009

    PUBLICATIONS

    Blonigan, S., & Henning-Smith, C. (2017, December 4). Rural Aging in Place Toolkit – Rural Health Information Hub. Retrieved from https://www.ruralhealthinfo.or...


    Angela R. Fields

    Community Health Worker

    Juniper

    Angela R. Fields is a Community Health Worker. 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. 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.”

    Angela will utilize 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.

    Juan Perez

    Community Health Worker

    Sanford Worthington Clinic

    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. The CHW skillset includes:

    • Strong communication
    • Active Listening
    • Empathy
    • Public speaking/presentation skills
    • Service/Resource Coordination
    • Problem Solving
    • Cultural Competency

    …among many others. 

    Through the Juniper/Trellis grant funding that is supporting the CHW role at the clinic, we are happy to have Juan as an onsite, in-person expert for the evidence-based Juniper programs available to our patients. Our providers 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.

    With each patient touch, Juan completes a 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 does best: connect patients to the most appropriate services and resources and help navigate access to what is needed.   

    Motivation/Inspiration:

    Why Did You Want To Become a CHW? (What interested you about the job when you learned about it?)

    “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.”

    Christine Bullerman

    Community Health Program Specialist

    Sanford Worthington Medical Center

    Christine has been with Sanford Worthington Medical Center for 3 years as the Community Health Program Specialist. She has a bachelors and master’s degree in Community Health Education. She has over 7 years of experience working with and supervising CHWs in the Worthington community. She previously worked for Nobles County Public Health doing community organizing and community wellness work throughout the county with an emphasis on expanding capacity of the CHW role in the Worthington area. Her current role at Sanford includes assisting with activities that address the community needs as they relate to the most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, and oversight of the brand new CHW role in the primary care clinic setting. Christine and Juan are working together to help the community learn more about CHWs and figuring out how to optimize the role for Sanford patients and the community.

  • Contains 3 Component(s)

    Representatives from the National Association of Community Health Workers will provide an overview of what are Community Health Workers (CHWs) and how they are effective. NACHW will also discuss sustainable financing opportunities for community-based organizations across the country looking to engage CHWs to support older adults.

    Representatives from the National Association of Community Health Workers will describe the role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) and how they can be valuable members of the health care team. NACHW will also discuss sustainable financing opportunities for community-based organizations across the country looking to engage CHWs to support older adults. 


    Aurora GrantWingate

    Member & Partner Engagement Associate

    National Association of Community Health Workers

    Aurora GrantWingate had the honor of joining the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) in October 2020 as their Member and Partner Engagement Associate as one of NACHW first three staff members. Throughout her time at NACHW, Aurora has overseen the development and growth of NACHW’s COVID-19 portfolio including NACHW’s partnerships with the Vaccine Equity Cooperative, The National COVID-19 Resiliency Network, and The Community Based Workforce Alliance. In addition, Aurora has had the pleasure to connect with hundred of CHWs and CHW Networks throughout the country to connect them with trainings, grant opportunities, and help foster community building. 

    Mikayla Trujillo, CPSW/CCHW

    Capacity Building Coordinator

    National Association of Community Health Workers

    Mikayla Trujillo, CPSW/CCHW has strong roots in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mikayla is a Peer with lived experience around overcoming adversity including mental health, substance use, and incarceration that ultimately lead to her becoming a CCHW in her community and the Capacity Building Coordinator at NACHW. Mikayla’s passion began as she re-entered her own community and tirelessly assisted those affected by mental health, precariously housed individuals, system impacted youth, and employment seeking returning citizens in achieving their personal goals, located at a small Non-Profit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which she keeps close to her heart and visits regularly. She continued her success at the University of New Mexico under a Prison Hepatitis C elimination program as a Program Coordinator working with incarcerated Peer Educators at all 12 prisons across New Mexico as well as returning citizens in the community, providing resources for peers on Adult Probation & Parole supervision. Mikayla is proud to be advocating for the many previously incarcerated persons seeking a valuable role as a CCHW in their communities. Mikayla is currently leading the Johnson & Johnson CHW Leaders project and offers mentorship and support to the inspiring and groundbreaking individuals in the CHW Leadership community.

    Lorna A. Osterback

    Community Health Representative Manager/ Community Health Worker

    Eastern Aleutian Tribes

    Lorna A. Osterback is a Community Health Representative Manager/ Community Health Worker for Eastern Aleutian Tribes for about 6 and a half years. Providing support services to community members for the purpose of improving quality of life. I am a Qagan Tayagungin Tribal member and am also American Indian. My philosophy is essentialism. I completed an apprenticeship as a Community Health Worker through the Alaska Primary Care Association. Emergency Trauma Technician Training with Southeast Regional EMS Council, Inc. and later EMT-1 with the State of Alaska. Further education was Community Health Representative Basic Training with Indian Health Services.  Pervious Human Service field delivery as an ICWA worker for 16 ½ years representing 12 Aleut tribes and as a Tribal Court Clerk, Family programs and as a Children’s Service Worker. I hold a Rural Human Services Associates in Applied Science, a Psychology/ Social work degree, Business management degree, Teacher’s Aid degree. As a Frontline worker bridging the gap between a community member and their health care system requires a range of activities and outreach modalities. The city of Sand Point is located on the northwestern Popof Island, one of the Shumigan Islands, off the Aleutian Peninsula extending down the chain from the state of Alaska. The actual global location is Latitude: 55 degrees 20’ 11.73’ N and Longitude: -160 degrees 29’ 35.64” W, very remote and about 900 airmiles from Anchorage, Alaska. Goods and people and mail arrive by plane, boat, or barge with infrequent service. Being a frontline worker has raised my expectations and desire for growth as an individual and the delivery needs as a public Health Worker/ liaison and Tribal Veteran’s Representative. In addition, I sit on the local Head Start Advisory Committee and local Woman’s Club. 

  • Contains 3 Component(s)

    Join this session to hear how Presbyterian Healthcare Services has introduced the role of Community Health Workers in health centers in New Mexico, as well as the process of building trust and showing the value of these services among both providers and community members. Speakers will highlight an initiative to refer community members to Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs through visits with Community Health Workers.

    Join this session to hear how Presbyterian Healthcare Services has introduced the role of Community Health Workers in health centers in New Mexico, as well as the process of building trust and showing the value of these services among both providers and community members. Speakers will highlight an initiative to refer community members to Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs through visits with Community Health Workers.

    Valerie Quintana, MA, PTP

    Director, Community & Clinical Linkages

    Presbyterian Healthcare Services

    Valerie V. Quintana, MA, PTP is the Director of Community & Clinical Linkages at Community Health, with Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS).  Her skills are proficient in the psychology of human interaction and human communication. They have been instrumental in the implementation of Change Theory within healthcare systems by strengthening and developing relationships, facilitating collaborations, ensuring clear communication, and building consensus. Valerie orchestrates linkages between Presbyterian, FQHCs, Community Health Workers, Peer Support Specialists, and community wellness programs to create a shared operations model that improves access to healthcare, behavioral healthcare, nutritious food and safer physical activity opportunities for Hispanic, Latin, and Native American residents of New Mexico. She is leading a team that is building out the Community Health Worker and Peer Support Specialist models, as Presbyterian strengthens how it addresses health related social needs and behavioral health in our communities. Valerie enjoys building collaborative relationship within healthcare systems, including providers and medical staff.  Through those relationships, and by building a shared understanding, she crafts human habits and behaviors that lead to highly desired, yet unconventional means of connecting patients to resources that can enhance medical treatments for those with chronic disease, on a statewide level. She has built her career helping organizations change their systems, thinking and operations in order to best suit the people and communities they serve.

     

    Valerie was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree of Arts in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. She has fifteen years of experience in the field of behavioral health, and created her own business providing on-site wholistic care for social workers. Valerie is an award-winning Rosary Artist who is also Internationally Certified as a Polarity Therapy Professional. She also holds certifications in Herbalism, Essential Oils, Touch Therapy, Health Facilitation, and Cranial Sacral Therapy.  

    Jennifer Pretzeus

    Project Coordinator

    Presbyterian Healthcare Services

    Jennifer Pretzeus, CCHW, is a project coordinator at Presbyterian Community Health in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jennifer joined Presbyterian in January 2018 as Community Health Worker for the CMS Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Project in which she screened patients for health-related social needs and referred them to resources for assistance. She transitioned into her new role as a Project Coordinator in May 2019 on the AHC project and provides training to the Community Health Workers assigned to this grant and helps with quality improvement. She is now also a project coordinator for our ACL grant awarded in 2020 entitled “Central New Mexico Thrive for Life: Empowering Older Adults in Central New Mexico to Address Chronic Pain.”

    Jennifer earned her B.S. degree in advertising and graphic design from Kent State University in Ohio. Soon after graduation she moved to Chicago where volunteering with lonely and isolated seniors led to a new career path. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience working in social services and has a strong affinity for working with the older adult population. 

    Crystal Ziff, CCHW

    Community Health Worker

    Presbyterian Healthcare Services

    Crystal is a Certified Community Health Worker Specialist II with Presbyterian Healthcare Services. She was hired by Presbyterian Community Health in August of 2019 and comes from a background of serving her community in a variety of roles including Behavioral Management Specialist, Community Support Worker, and Mental Health Tech. Crystal is currently responsible for screening patients for health-related social needs and connecting patients with resources in the community. Crystal also facilitates self-management workshops in the areas of chronic disease, diabetes, and chronic pain.

     

    Crystal began this journey by completing an Associates of Art degree in Psychology from Central New Mexico Community College in 2012. She is passionate about her community, health education, and mental health awareness.

  • Contains 3 Component(s)

    Attend this session to hear about the process of establishing the Community Health Worker position in South Dakota, one of the last states to adopt CHWs across health systems. Speakers will discuss various aspects of the position from the determination of roles and responsibilities, to training, models for reimbursement, and integration with Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs.

    Attend this session to hear about the process of establishing the Community Health Worker position in South Dakota, one of the last states to adopt CHWs across health systems. Speakers will discuss various aspects of the position from the determination of roles and responsibilities, to training, models for reimbursement, and integration with Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs.

    Megan Jacobson

    South Dakota State University Extension

    Megan Jacobson is the Program Associate for Better Choices, Better Health® SD (BCBH® SD), South Dakota’s suite of chronic disease self-management education (CDSME). She was trained as a Master Trainer in the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in 2014. Megan has led workshops and trainings for a variety of CDSME programs including chronic pain, diabetes, and workplace chronic disease. Though collaboration with a variety of local, state, and national partners, she works to implement and sustain evidence-based programming, like BCBH® SD, to help people manage and prevent chronic disease in South Dakota.

    Lori Oster

    South Dakota State University Extension

    Lori Oster is the Program Director for Better Choices, Better Health SD (BCBH-SD), South Dakota’s statewide suite of Self-Management Education programs. Established in 2014, BCBH-SD has grown to become a recognized chronic disease prevention resource. Though collaboration with a variety of local, state, and national partners, BCBH-SD now offers six different evidence-based programs to help adults manage their chronic conditions. Lori is a registered nurse and has coordinated the development, growth, and sustainment of BCBH-SD since its planning began in 2013.

    Ben Tiensvold

    Community Outreach Coordinator

    Community Health Work Collaborative

    Ben Tiensvold has served as the lead contact for the Community Health Worker Collaborative – South Dakota (CHWSD) since its inception in January 2020. He has led the CHWSD through significant growth over the first two years, in part to the CDC Health Disparities Grant funding the SD Department of Health received in June of 2022. Ben is also a Project Coordinator with Sage Project Consultants, has worked with the SD Department of Health and SD Department of Social Services to develop CHW reimbursement. He is passionate about the CHW profession and works to be an ally for all CHWs in South Dakota and across the country.  Ben has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Public Relations from Southwest Minnesota State University and is currently pursuing his Master of Public Health degree from New Mexico State University.

    Laura Harmelink

    Community Outreach Coordinator

    Better Choices, Better Health SD

    Laura Harmelink MSN, RN, LNHA serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Better Choices Better Health SD and partner to CHWSD. She has spent her career convening interdisciplinary teams and collaborating, mentoring, advising, and coaching students across the professions of medicine, nursing, social work and healthcare administration. Laura has worked with the Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services (CMS) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) utilizing her leadership skills as Improvement Advisor for South Dakota on the Partnership for Patients/Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) Collaborative alongside 34 states, together, successfully improving patient safety, reducing harm and readmission rates across the country.