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Policy & Issues Forum 2021

PMB1 - Primed for Progress: Expanding Community Health Workers in CHCs

Mar 15, 2021 10:00am ‐ Mar 15, 2021 11:00am


Community Health Workers (CHWs) build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities, such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy. Through the pandemic, health centers have struggled to maintain a workforce to meet the needs of our most vulnerable patients. This session will highlight opportunities to meaningfully incorporate community health workers into community health centers’ workforce to help support the innovation required to move passed COVID-19. The Biden administration recognizes the value in deploying CHWs in assisting with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and working with community health centers to reach as many Americans as possible. For CHWs to have sustainable opportunities, it is imperative for programs like Medicaid to provide sustainable funding to support the long-term success. The session would include the executive director from the National Association of Community Health Workers, a PCA, and United Health.

Learning Objectives:
  • Discuss the importance of CHWs to CHC functions
  • Provide an opportunity for states and CHCs to share their experiences working with CHWs
  • Share knowledge and increase understanding of CHW reimbursement and certification strategies



  • Phillip Bergquist, CHCEF, Health Center Operations Officer, Michigan Primary Care Association
  • Andrea Dwyer, Program Director, Colorado Cancer Screening Program and Colorado School of Public Health
  • Denise Smith, MBA, CHW, PN, Executive Director, National Association of Community Health Workers

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