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DC Healthy Homes Collaborative Creates Videos and Materials to Keep Families Healthy


Home Tips to Keep Families Healthy

As families enter their fourth month home with children, the DC Healthy Housing Collaborative (DCHHC) knows one of parents’ top concerns is how to keep homes clean and pest-free. For parents of children with asthma, this can be even more concerning. The more time their child is exposed to asthma triggers in the home, the more likely the child may need to go to the hospital at a time when that can cause an increase in COVID-19 exposure.

To respond to these concerns, the Collaborative developed a suite of materials to help families take small steps to keep pests out of the home and reduce the presence of other allergens that can trigger asthma.

“We know families are facing a lot of stress and worry right now,” said Dr. Janet Phoenix, MD, MPH of the DC Asthma Coalition. “Our hope is these resources offer a few simple steps that make everyone in their home breathe a little easier.”

The relationship between poor housing conditions and certain health problems such as asthma and lead poisoning is well-documented. In D.C., one’s race, income, and neighborhood too often predict the potential for poor housing conditions that can negatively influence health.

In the videos, Children’s Law Center family outreach worker, Kayla Brandon, walks viewers through two tutorials, one focused on how to take small steps to keep asthma under control in a home and the other on how to keep mice and roaches away.

The resources are being shared with nonprofit partners and medical providers so that families, especially those who have asthma, can keep on top of housing issues during a time when landlords may not be able to fix them quickly or easily.

For more information and to access these resources, visit


About the DC Healthy Housing Collaborative

The DC Healthy Housing Collaborative is a multi-sector coalition seeking to address substandard housing conditions that contribute to significant health issues affect District of Columbia residents.

The relationship between poor housing conditions and certain health problems such as asthma and lead poisoning is well-documented. In D.C., one’s race, income, and neighborhood too often predict the potential for poor housing conditions that can negatively influence health. The DC Healthy Housing Collaborative (DCHHC) convenes a broad range of partners representing government agencies, healthcare, public health, health insurance providers, housing services, legal services, policy advocacy groups, financial institutions, and many others, united in pursuit of policy and systems changes that will lead to healthier housing conditions.  IPHI is a core member of the DCHHC and serves as the Collaborative’s backbone organization.

We envision a DC where all housing promotes health, wellness, safety, and is affordable. DC will be a city where all are welcome and can thrive in powerful resilient and well-resourced communities.

Members include AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, DC Asthma Coalition, Children’s Law Center, Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), IMPACT DC (Children’s National Hospital), Institute for Public Health Innovation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC DC), and Yachad.

For more information on the DC Healthy Housing Collaborative, contact Abby Charles, Program Director at the Institute for Public Health Innovation, at [email protected].

IPHI and the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council host Focus Groups to Address Food and Beverage Marketing

The Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) and the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC) are working in partnership with the National Collaborative for Health Equity and Drexel University to host focus groups in Prince George’s County, MD.The overarching objective of this study is to stimulate community action to address the targeted marketing of unhealthy foods. To view the flyer, click: HERE.

Inclusion Criteria

Participants can participate in the focus groups if they are:

  • Males or females between the ages of 18 to 25
  • Males or females between the ages 26 to 55 who have children ages 3 to 17 in their household
  • Self-identified as African American or Black American
  • Willing and available to participate in the two rounds of focus groups, held approximately 1 week apart at designated dates and times
  • Able to give informed consent
  • Able to speak, read, and understand English
  • Currently living in Prince George’s County, MD

Times and Dates of Focus Groups

  • 18-25 year old adult focus group: December 4th & 9th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • 26-55 year old adult focus group: December 3rd & 10th, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Drexel University received funding for this study from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and the study is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

To sign up or for more information, please contact Lauren Nixon at (240) 252-2016 or [email protected].

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

Institute for Public Health Innovation logo


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.

ELEVATE: 2019 Regional Outreach Workers’ Conference

On August 1-2, 2019, IPHI hosted ELEVATE, the 2019 Regional Outreach Workers’ Conference, with support from partners DC Health, the DC Department of Behavioral Health, the Effi Barry Training Institute, HealthHIV, the Virginia CHW Association, and the Virginia Department of Health.

Almost 300 community health workers (CHWs) and other health outreach workers from across the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia region came together to network, receive continuing education, and promote a cooperative approach to the community health outreach worker industry. This two-day meeting was packed with workshops, panels, and discussions that addressed the challenges community health and outreach workers encounter daily in their work and presented information on workforce and industry developments such as association work and certification.

Topics included:

  • National & regional CHW association work
  • State-based certification policy status
  • Working with clients with comorbidities
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Mental health crisis intervention
  • Substance abuse and dependency
  • Immigration and health
  • Food insecurity
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Maternal mortality
  • Region-specific breakout sessions

Presentations and materials from the conference:

We were also able to get some really great pictures from the day! To view the photos, click: HERE.

IPHI Hosts Webinar on Decreasing Life Expectancy

America’s Public Health Crisis: Declining Life Expectancy & its Systemic Causes

On February 25, 2019, the Institute for Public Health Innovation hosted a webinar examining declining life expectancy trends in the U.S.

In 2018, the CDC released data revealing that U.S. life expectancy declined for the third consecutive year. This is an unprecedented trend in modern society that cuts across demographics and multiple causes. This webinar provided a nuanced and in-depth look at the data on declining life expectancy across racial-ethnic groups from a wide range of conditions and provided recommendations for policymakers in addressing some of the systemic causes.

Dr. Steven H. Woolf provided insight from his recently published study that revealed midlife mortality rates in the U.S. have increased across all racial-ethnic populations from multiple causes, including organ diseases and “deaths of despair.” His discussion included an analysis of this historical progression that indicates midlife mortality rates among non-white populations equaled or even exceeded rates of white populations, offsetting years of progress in lowering mortality rates. He also provided policy levers to reverse this trend.

Dr. Brian D. Smedley spoke to the systemic factors contributing to these racial and ethnic inequities in mortality. His discussion focused on a prominent root cause, racial residential segregation and housing disparities. Dr. Smedley discussed the history of residential segregation, demonstrated its link to racial health inequities, and recommended potential place- and people-based policy interventions.

Access the audio recording of the webinar below: 

Life Expectancy Webinar Audio – m4A format

Life Expectancy Webinar Audio – WMA format

Click below to access the slides used in the webinar:

Southern Maryland Partners Launch PreventionLink

Southern Maryland Partnership Receives Major Federal Funding to Create Integrated Regional System of Chronic Disease Prevention and Care.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently awarded the Prince George’s County Health Department and a broad group of partners a $12 million, 5-year cooperative agreement to lead the collaborative development of regional infrastructure for chronic disease prevention and care across Southern Maryland.   Through this effort, called PreventionLink, the partners will combine evidence-based prevention and care approaches, technology, and communications strategies to create a multi-faceted integrated system for improving health and wellness related to chronic disease in Southern Maryland.   Partners expect that this innovative and groundbreaking effort will lead to an effective, sustainable and replicable model worthy of statewide and national attention.  IPHI is a primary PreventionLink partner and will provide technical assistance, training, and project management support.

For more information read the Prince George’s County Health Department Press Release.

IPHI Celebrates 19 Graduates of the CHW Core Skills Training

IPHI is excited to congratulate 19 Community Health Worker (CHW) Core Skills Training graduates facilitated from July through August in Richmond this summer. On August 29, 2018, community health workers from across Virginia completed a rigorous CHW training course that covered the foundations of health equity, public health knowledge, communication skills, care coordination, teaching & capacity building, health education and promotion, outreach strategies, advocacy, wellness, legal and ethical issues, and data collection and documentation. During this interactive and participatory class, students had the chance to learn more about these topics through guided discussions, group activities, and reflection on the health problems in their own communities. After finishing this course, each graduate was a step closer to getting the new CHW certification in Virginia.

Several CHWs spoke of how this training provided them with the skills needed to succeed as CHWs. Read their statements below.

Sean Reid: 

“My name is Sean Reid and I formally became a CHW because I truly believe that environmental and social factors can have a profound effect on an individual’s overall health. My role as a community health worker will be to bridge the gap between the population in which we serve, the health care system, and community resources. Being a community health worker means having the compassion, empathy, and capacity to relate and connect with individuals on a level which makes relationships organic. The training I’ve embarked on has been nothing less than amazing. I’ve been blessed with knowledge and understanding of various topics that prior to this training I was totally unaware and ignorant to. I’m now well equipped to perform my duties as a community health worker at an elite level.”

Greisy Fernandez Gil: 

“Being a Promotora de Salud and volunteering for different organizations that help the Spanish-speaking population living in Richmond and neighboring areas has allowed me to do outreach work and participate in several community events. While doing so, I could notice the needs a lot of people have and the fact that, even though there are many available resources, sometimes people just seem not to know where to go and look for help. That was, primarily, my motivation to become a CHW.

I find helping others very motivating and heartwarming. I believe it gives my life a deeper feeling of purpose and fulfillment. I also love learning and IPHI has offered me the opportunity, not only to do something I enjoy doing but to learn and grow as a professional. I am grateful for that.

In our training, I have met many CHWs and Outreach workers with a noticeable team-work spirit and enriching personal and professional experiences. For me, it has been a real joy to be a part of this process. Besides, the dedication our trainers put in all the work they do is very encouraging as well. I am so excited and willing to use all the skills I’ve learned so far, for the benefit of my clients.”

Celita Washington

“Growing up I have always found myself assisting others. In my early teens, I realized that it was something that I actually enjoyed doing! When you get to see the results and a smile on that person’s face is one of my greatest rewards. That’s when I realized that it was my calling to work with individuals and the community altogether to create, see and be a positive impact on other’s lives. I became a CHW because it gave me a chance to help people on a more professional level. The CHW training courses were nothing short of amazing and have allowed me to maximize on the amount of knowledge I have gained in addition to previous experiences to add to my current skill set. Having the opportunity to service the community and be one of the leading causes in change to see a rise in successful cases and positive growth within the health system in the years to come is what I seek to accomplish as a CHW. It’s of significant meaning to me to have become a CHW to help my clients hone in on addressing the social determinants and seek out healthier lifestyles for the greater good of each individual and humanity as a whole.”

D.C. Outreach Workers’ Conference 2018

On July 24 and 25, 2018, IPHI, DCPCA, DC Health, and La Clinica del Pueblo worked together to organize the 1st Annual DC Outreach Workers’ Conference. The 2-day event brought CHWs, outreach workers, and stakeholders together to participate in workshops and get up-to-date information on the state of public health in DC.

The presentations and training topics included:

  • National CHW Policy
  • Health & Immigration
  • HIV in DC
  • Chronic Disease Self-Management
  • Mental Health & Trauma-Informed Care
  • The Opioid Epidemic & the Role for CHWs
  • Naloxone Training
  • CHW Sustainability: CHW Advocacy
  • Love, Sex, and Spirituality
  • The CHW Professional Association of DC

We look forward to connecting with CHWs monthly at our continuing education sessions and CHWPADC meeting and to working with other stakeholders to continue moving CHW sustainability forward in D.C.

Check out photos from the day: HERE.

Regional Update on CHW Workforce Development and Certification

CHW Certification and Workforce Development – Spring 2018 Update


Great news concerning CHW certification comes out of Maryland! Together with chapters of the Maryland CHW Network and other partners, IPHI was highly involved in the CHW certification legislation introduced during the recent legislative session. Delegate Clarence K. Lam and Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam continued to be two champions of CHW certification. With their leadership, the bill for voluntary CHW certification passed through the General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Hogan May 8, 2018. This bill establishes the State Community Health Worker Advisory Committee within the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and requires MDH to adopt specified regulations related to the training and certification of community health workers in the State. The bill also establishes the State Community Health Workers Fund.

IPHI joins the MD CHW Network and other stakeholders to witness Gov. Hogan sign the CHW certification bill into law May 8, 2018.

We at IPHI believe this a key milestone in achieving CHW sustainability in Maryland and recognize the hard work and dedication of everyone, particularly the Maryland CHWs, who worked tirelessly advocating for the bill. There is still a lot of work to be done and we look forward to partnering with MDH, The Maryland CHW Network, and other stakeholders to continue working towards CHW sustainability.

To find out more read the final bill in its entirety.


IPHI, together with the Virginia Community Health Worker Association, held a one-day forum for community health workers from across the Commonwealth of Virginia on May 18, 2018, at the Libbie Mill Library in Richmond, Virginia. The forum featured speakers with expertise in Medicaid, opioids, disabilities, housing, and equity among other key topics. The primary goals of the forum were to:

  • Train CHWs on topics such as Medicaid, opioids, cultural humility, and working with special populations;
  • Provide updates on the state of CHW workforce development in Virginia, with a special emphasis on CHW certification; and
  • Provide opportunities for CHWs from across the Commonwealth to connect with the Virginia Community Health Worker Association.

Certified Community Health Worker Credential Now Available 

IPHI is pleased to announce that a new credential for community health workers is now available through the Virginia Certification Board. Since 2012, IPHI has worked with partners in Virginia on CHW workforce development through the CHW Advisory Group, and we are proud of the progress that has been accomplished by this partnership. The credential was developed by and reviewed, approved, and supported by the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Community Health Worker Advisory Group, and the Virginia Community Health Worker Association.

Requirements for CHW certification can be found in the certification application by clicking on this link: CCHW Application. Learn more about the Virginia Certification Board online at For questions about the CCHW process, email Virginia Certification Board at [email protected]. IPHI will continue to work with partners to refine the certification process as well as to support and implement policies that advance the CHW workforce in VA.

See IPHI’s Community Health Worker Initiatives for more information or contact [email protected].

At summit, a collaborative view on region’s health

Traci Petty attended the Third Annual Health Collaborative Summit on Thursday to find out more strategies to make a difference in the community. She was among the more than 100 people who turned out for the summit.

As director of community impact and operations for the United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County, she became involved in initiatives to inform residents of the Dan River region about access to healthy food, health care and making healthy lifestyle decisions.

“We wanted to help the residents make good choices,” Petty said at the summit held at Averett University.

Once at the summit, the people broke up into separate groups to listen to guest speakers from different organizations.

The health collaborative works with schools, work sites, after-school programs and faith-based organizations to provide technical assistance and form wellness committees. Other efforts include working to connect residents with primary care providers to reduce unnecessary visits to the emergency room. The collaborative has 110 members from 54 organizations and was started under the Danville Regional Foundation.

“It cuts a wide swath across the community,” said Elyse Jardine, the collaborative’s project manager. Its mission is to set goals and strategies to improve health in the region. Each goal includes an action team of about 10 to 15 members to see it through.

Continue reading the full article on

October 12, 2017 | John Crane |