CHW Policy Work in 2017

IPHI Continues to Focus on CHW Workforce Development and Certification Policy in DC, MD, and VA

 

Together with the Virginia Department of Health, IPHI co-leads the Virginia CHW Advisory Group. Within this group, IPHI convenes the Policy and Finance Taskforce, which hosted a successful CHW Advocacy Day at the General Assembly in Virginia on January 30. Our second statewide CHW Forum in Virginia took place on March 28th in Charlottesville, VA. In September, IPHI and other stakeholders met with the Virginia Certification Board to finalize the CHW certification process in Virginia.

The Virginia Certification Board plans to open certification to CHWs in January 2018. In the interim, IPHI will oversee outreach to CHWs and potential employers to increase awareness of the certification process and the important roles that CHWs play, with the ultimate goal of creating employment opportunities for certified CHWs. We will also work with champions in the General Assembly to introduce legislation to support the certification process.

In Maryland, IPHI was highly involved in the CHW certification legislation introduced during the recent legislative session. While last-minute questions prevented it from passing, great progress was made towards achieving certification. Delegate Lam and Senator Nathan-Pulliam, two key supporters of CHW certification, co-convened a community stakeholder meeting in August to gather feedback to inform re-introduction of legislation in the upcoming session. We are hopeful that strong legislation for voluntary CHW certification will pass in the 2018 session.

On May 12, 2017, IPHI co-hosted a District-wide CHW forum with DC Primary Care Association. CHWs, stakeholders, and CHW employers heard from several speakers about CHW sustainability in DC. The meeting featured presentations that discussed how the potential changes to the ACA could impact DC Medicaid and Medicare patients, reinforced the role of CHWs in facilitating access to care and effective utilization of care among Medicaid and Medicare patients, and identified potential policies and strategies to sustain CHWs within a transitioning care environment.