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Zee Turner Center

Zee Turner Center for CHW Workforce Development

The Zhilphia “Zee” Turner Center for Community Health Worker Workforce Development (Zee Turner Center), formerly known as the Center for Community Health Workforce (CCHW), is a regional center for excellence that advances community health worker (CHW) practice, research, and policy.

The CCHW was launched in 2013 to grow opportunities for peer-based workforce strategies. Specifically, the center was created to develop and support the community-based health workforce and CHWs. The new name, Zee Turner Center, is in memory of CHW Zhilphia “Zee” Turner. Zee Turner was an IPHI employee who dedicated 15 years of her life to serving the Washington, DC, area. As someone who lived with a chronic health condition for 24 years and overcame adversity, Zee used her experience to help communities with substance use addiction and HIV/AIDS.

“When I get notice that people are out of care, I call them. If I get no answer, I send them a letter – or I go knock on their doors. I try to fix some of the barriers that led them out of care and I work with their case workers to get them back to taking their medicines.” 

– Zee Turner in the Washington Informer

Zee was an educator, mentor, and advocate through IPHI’s Positive Pathways initiative. Her unwavering dedication and genuine care for those around her made her a beloved figure in the community. At the 2014 Unity National CHW Conference, Zee was awarded the posthumous Esther M. Holderby CHW Special Recognition Award. IPHI proudly honors her CHW legacy by naming this regional center for excellence after her.

The Zee Turner Center is a CHW center divided into three main groups:

1) Training Programs & Technical Assistance,

2) CHW Initiatives/Implementation, and

3) Policy, Advocacy, and Research

The Zee Turner Center priorities:

  • Develop CHW regional standards and scopes of practice
  • Enhance teaching program for CHW training and continuing education
  • Support CHW network development across the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia
  • Consult and provide technical assistance to organizations requesting help in planning, operating, and evaluating CHW programs
  • Support the effective integration of CHWs into clinical and community-based teams and design policies and programs that facilitate CHW retention
  • Research and find innovative CHW models
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for regional. national, and international CHW best practices
  • Support policy development to finance and sustain CHW service models across the region

To learn more about the Zee Turner Center, please contact [email protected] or visit IPHI’s events and webinars page to stay updated with CHW opportunities.