On January 30th, IPHI hosted the first Community Health Worker (CHW) Advocacy Day at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond, VA. Thirty participants from around the state attended the event and met with 20 legislators or their staff. Using pre-scripted talking points, they spent 10-15 minutes talking about CHWs’ work and how critical they are to improving health care quality, improving health and eliminating health disparities, and reducing healthcare costs.
They also specifically asked for support for Senate Bill 1557, submitted by Senator George Barker, for the Virginia Department of Health to be recognized as a Working Group to move forward efforts including certifying CHWs, supporting policies, and increasing the sustainability of CHWs through payment systems for CHWs as a part of an integrated health care team. While the Bill ultimately didn’t pass, this was an extremely successful day and raised much needed awareness for CHWs and the important work they do. We hope next year’s event will be bigger and better!!