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IPHI Hosts 1st Regional Conference to Bring Together DC, MD, & VA CHWs to Share Best Practices, Expand Skill Set

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August 20, 2019

Contact: Kady Pecorella
[email protected]


Almost 300 Participants Gather from all over DC, VA, and MD Region to Elevate Shared Knowledge, Experiences, and Role of CHWs in the Health Industry.

Washington, DC — Hundreds of community health workers, health outreach workers, and their supporters gathered in a much-anticipated 2-day event in Washington, DC on August 1-2, 2019 entitled ELEVATE: The 2019 Regional Outreach Workers’ Conference. The 2-day conference was hosted by the Institute for Public Health Innovation in partnership with DC Health, DC Department of Behavioral Health, the Effi Barry Training Institute, HealthHIV, the Virginia CHW Association, and Virginia Department of Health.

The conference brought together almost 300 health professionals and workforce advocates to participate in workshops, attend panels and plenary presentations, network with fellow outreach workers, and get up-to-date information on the state of public health in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. The conference also aimed to elevate shared knowledge, skill-sets, best practices, and experiences of community health workers (CHWs), as well as increase awareness of the importance of the roles of CHWs in population health.

As defined by the American Public Health Association, a community health worker—also called an outreach worker, health advocate, or peer health educator, among other titles—is a trained frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. CHWs provide advocacy for individual and community needs, provide culturally-appropriate health education and information, and act as a liaison between health/social services and the community. Training and trust-based relationships allow CHWs to form effective relationships with community members to improve health outcomes while reducing healthcare costs.

Keynote Speaker, Sergio Matos, co-founder of the National Association of Community Health Workers, emphasized, “Health is the state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing…the work that CHWs do allows the communities they work within to have social well-being.”

The Institute for Public Health Innovation is one of the region’s leading supporters of community health workers, training more than 600 CHWs over the past decade, providing technical assistance to CHW employers, and creating dozens of CHW jobs.

Following the conference, participants were motivated to get involved in their state CHW advisory group meetings and join and advocate for their respective statewide CHW associations.

For additional information about the conference, speaker presentations, and CHW training and advocacy group information, contact IPHI at [email protected].


About the Institute for Public Health Innovation

IPHI develops multi-sector partnerships and innovative solutions to improve the public’s health and well-being across Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.  Our work strengthens health systems and policy, enhances conditions that promote health, and builds community capacity to ensure equitable health opportunities for all.  IPHI is one of over 40 public health institutes across the country and a member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes.  For more information on IPHI, see, and follow IPHI on Facebook and Twitter @InstitutePHI.