Who We Are
Minnesota’s Community Health Worker Project is a statewide initiative whose mission is to reduce cultural and linguistic barriers to health care, improve quality and cost effectiveness of care, and increase the number of healthcare workers who come from diverse backgrounds or underserved communities. Community Health Workers come from the communities they serve, working at the grassroots level building trust and vital relationships which make them effective culture brokers between their own communities and systems of care. CHWs;
- Teach navigation through the healthcare system - increasing healthcare access
- Educate health care knowledge – lowering health disparities
- Bridge the gap between cultures and healthcare systems – improving health outcomes
This project is a coalition of partners (educators, health care industry, healthcare payers, public and private organizations & CHWs) who are committed to improving the system of delivering healthcare services to all persons in Minnesota. This project:
- Developed and implemented a statewide standardized curriculum to educate CHWs in Minnesota;
- Developed professional standards or "scope of practice" for CHWs, which defines their position in the health care delivery system;
- Created a sustainable employment market, incorporating CHWs into the health care workforce;
- Passed legislation which allows the services of CHWs in Minnesoto to be reimbursable under Medicaid. Other than Alaska, Minnesota is the only state who been able to accomplish this.
- Developed and implemented an 11 credit statwide standardized Community Health Worker Curriculum.
- 2005 – 2007 enrolled 211 students into the CHW training:
- 145 students graduated and received a certificate which makes their services eligible for reimbursement;
- 42 graduates employed into newly created CHW jobs;
- created over 70 new jobs for CHWs in Minnesota;
- 62 were awarded scholarships provided through funding partners .
- Successfully advocated for passage of new Minnesota Legislation mandating Medicaid reimbursement for Community Health Workers to begin in 2008.
- Published workforce analysis, outcome analysis and other national studies, which are building foundational support for the Community Health Worker position.
- Published the Minnesota Community Health Worker Curriculum which is being sold nationally.
This session will provide a brief overview of the projects activities to advance the role of the CHWs in public and private sectors across Minnesota and at the National level. We will offer our expertise on how to duplicate this model in other states at the policy and workforce level. Our curriculum is published and on sale and will be available for participants. We will also share our strategy on our process on being successful in passing legislation for reimbursement at both the state and national level
This presentation will also share the CHW pathways that are being developed working with the American Dental Association to create the Community Dental Health Coordinator and with the Community Healthcare and Emergency Cooperative to create the Community Paramedic positions.
Presentation Information:Program: Peer-to-Peer Practice Advancement Sessions
Primary Category: Culturally Competent Care
Subtopics: Clinical interactions, Patient education, Community health education, Curricula development, Disparity reduction, Access in underserved communities, eg, rural, urban, Federal, State, Implementing disparity reduction programs, Organizational plans, policies, management strategies, Workforce diversity, Quality improvement, Patient safety
Region Addressed by Presentation: National
Organization: Health Care System
Keywords: Community Health Workers, curriculum, Improving health outcomes, Legislation to reimburse CHWs, Lowering health disparities