We sit down with MACHW’s staff to hear what’s happening!
First, what would you like to celebrate from this past year?
Jackie: The hard work of MACHW’s Advisory Board members (pictured below). This group is phenomenal. They are a group of trailblazers that guided a new vision for MACHW. They have also been very hands on with MACHW’s awards, annual conference, the new MACHWitas, etc. We could not have done so much this year without them.
Lissette: I agree, our Advisory Board is amazing! The group includes a spectrum of roles: community health workers (CHWs), supervisors, trainers, physicians, and administrators. With our Advisory Board now reflecting that vision of integration and engagement, it’s not surprising our members have also been very active this year. Together, we have been able to have a strong voice. For example, hundreds of CHWs came to have their voice heard against including a CORI check as part of the certification application. Lastly, I’d like to celebrate how much closer we are to having certification be official.
What are you most excited about for this year?
Jackie: I’m excited about the MACHWitas, or “little MACHWs” in Spanish. CHWs wanted us to decentralize our efforts, so with MACHWitas, we’re taking the show on the road! We will create that safe space for CHWs to reflect, support, and learn from their peers in their region. We’ll also be able to give hands on assistance with the certification application.
Lissette: I’m especially excited for our Employer Resource Center that will be on our new website soon. Our work is both with CHWs and employers, including ACOs. We have worked hard to establish credible relationships with MassHealth and ACOs. We are jointly exploring ways to better support and integrate all CHWs, including colleagues working in behavioral health (Peer Specialists, Family Partners) and Substance Use (Recovery Coaches).
What other changes should members expect?
Lissette: MACHW’s main office is now at Health Resources in Action (HRiA) in Boston. During our strategic planning process last year, we realized we needed an organizational platform that would allow up to expand regionally. We had to make the tough decision to leave Center for Health Impact in Worcester. We are grateful for the years we spent at CHI and we would not be here without that incubation time there. We interviewed several organizations and HRiA stood out as a partner that had the statewide infrastructure we were looking for. With access to all the wonderful technology HRiA provides, we are planning to do webinars and more web-based activities.
Jackie: Also, MACHW has a fresh look to reflect our new, invigorated work. We have a new logo and our website will soon be more user friendly. Also, our emails finally say MACHW.org!
What has stayed the same at MACHW?
Lissette: Our passion to serve the CHW workforce with excellence. We are committed to working together with CHWs, employers, funders, etc, to support the CHW workforce and create new professional development opportunities for our members.