MACHW BRINGS CHWs FROM ACROSS ALL NINE PWTF PARTNERSHIPS AND M-DPH STAFF TOGETHER
Strength-Based Meeting Inspires Both Community and Clinically-Based CHWs to Address Barriers and Challenges in Their Scope of Practice In Order to Sustain PWTF’s Mission
Reducing health care costs by preventing chronic conditions is an ambitious goal, as it involves bringing together a wide range of partnerships from across the state and CHWs from diverse fields. But it is a goal that is achievable, according to DPH staff at MACHW’s PWTF CHW Support Session, who called on CHWs not to lose sight of the benefits that including CHW voices into PWTF sustainability plans can bring to their communities.
During this one-day event, over half of the 72 CHWs across the eight reporting partnerships (Holyoke data missing) who came together at picturesque Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, were empowered to discuss barriers and challenges in the realm of PWFT’s CHW Guiding Principles – in their everyday public health work.
Held May 25, this first-of-a-kind event provided an opportunity for CHWs to learn from and interact with other CHWs from across the state and PWTF DPH staff, including Jean Zotter, PWFT Manager and Chair of the Board of Certification, who spoke at the opening session. Supportive supervisory practices, understanding of CHWs’ roles and scope of work, and quality vs. quantity were identified as key to fulfilling PWFT’s ultimate mission of promoting good health.
“It was great to have DPH there to listen and demonstrate that they care and want to help us fix these problems”, said one CHW. “Learning that other CHWs are facing similar problems helps us realize that we are not alone", shared another participant.
The CHW-driven and designed agenda included fun and physical activity, such as a My Life My Health demonstration, Matter-of-Balance role-play, and a guided Tai Chi session. Attendees also enjoyed the scenic gardens on over 100-acres with spectacular views of Mount Wachusett and the Wachusett Reservoir.
Many thanks to the Planning Team: Caitlin Farley , CHW from the Barnstable Partnership, Theresa Alphonse from the Boston Partnership, Elmer Pagan and Carolina Figueroa, both CHWs from the Holyoke Partnership, Casandra Farguheson, CHW from the Lynn Partnership, Edilane Silva, CHW from the MetroWest Partnership, Jamie Berberena, CHW from the New Bedford Partnership, Crystal Lee, CHW from the Quincy/Weymouth Partnership, and Lissette Ojeda, CHW from the Worcester Partnership, for helping MACHW develop the agenda.