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AzCHOW is growing and changing to better represent Arizona’s diverse community health worker workforce. We are redesigning our website to bring you more information, resources and tools for working in your community. In the meantime, there is plenty to do to get involved and help build Arizona’s CHW Workforce:

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You can make a difference in your community and your state. Click the button below to learn more about what’s going on with CHWs and how you can participate!

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AzChow Conference 2017 Logo
Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM
– to –
Friday, June 16, 2017 at 5:00 PM (MST)
Desert Diamond Hotel and Casino
7350 South Nogales Highway
Tucson, Arizona 85756

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Conference Objectives:

  • Increase knowledge of current health issues affecting Arizonan’s.
  • Inform and facilitate discussions on CHW Voluntary Certification efforts among CHWs and CHW organizations.
  • Facilitate networking opportunities and collaboration among CHWs and CHW organizations addressing chronic diseases/conditions in their communities.
  • Become informed on national trends affecting Community Health Workers.
Attend Event


Nominate your choice for Outstanding CHW





Agenda AzCHOW 14th Annual Conference

Agenda Day 1: Thursday June 15, 2017

Conference Check-In  11:00am

Welcome & Opening Remarks 1:00pm-1:15pm

Floribella Redondo, President AzCHOW

Keynote Speaker 1:15 – 2:00pm

Expanding the Possibilities for Community Health Workers in Public Health

Will Humble, Executive Director

Arizona Public Health Association

Workforce Panel 2:00 – 2:30pm

The Journey of Community Health Workers in Arizona

Brook Bender, Community Health Representative Hualapai Tribe

Maria Valenzuela, Program Director Esperanca

Break 2:45 – 3:15pm

Workforce Updates 2:30 – 2:45pm

State Strategies for CHW Workforce

Yanitza Soto, ADHS

Arizona CHW Policy Updates

Jill DeZapien, University of Arizona College of Public Health

Arizona Community Health Workers Association Update

Lorena Verdugo, AzCHOW

CHW National Update

Carl Rush

Activity 3:15 – 4:10pm

Community Health Workers-Change agents in Arizona’s Population Health

Maia Ingram, Co-Director- AZ PRC

Abby Lohr, Research Specialist, AZ PRC

Day 1 Closing Speaker 4:10 – 4:50pm

Clowntown Healing Workshop

Carl Hammerschlag, M.D

Closing Remarks Evaluations/Announcements 4:50pm-5:00pm


Agenda Day 2: Friday, June 16, 2017

Continental Breakfast 7:00 am-8:00 am

Welcome and Announcements 8:00 am-8:10 am

Floribella Redondo, AzCHOW President

General Session I: 

“The Role of CHWs in Cancer Care” 8:10 am- 8:45 am

Maria Tirado, Patient Navigator  Carondelet St. Mary’s

General Session II: 

Un Abrazo Para la Familia 8:45 am-9:00 am

TBD (Julie)-University of Arizona College of Medicine

Lorena Verdugo, AzCHOW

Bag It, Inc. 9:00 am-9:15 am

Community Health Worker Resource

Presented by: Joyce Palasek

Concurrent Sessions 9:15 am-11:15 am


Oyendo Bien: CHW Training on Hearing Loss and Effects on Behavioral Health

Laura Coco, AuD, CCC-A

Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

University of Arizona

Rachel Peterson, MPH, MA

Health Educator, Senior

University of Arizona Center on Aging

CDC Healthy Brain Research Network Scholar

CHW Supervisor Training Module

Rebecca Epstein

Patria Alguila

MHP Salud

Awards Luncheon

2017  Dr. Joel Meister Outstanding CHW Award

Special Recognitions

General Session III: 12:45 pm-1:30 pm

Elements of a Healthy Community Wheel 11:15 am-12:45 pm

Melanie Mitros- Vitalyst Health Foundation

Jon/Emily (TBD who will come with her)

Workshops I:  1:30 pm-2:15 pm

Participants choose one workshop to attend

Session A:

American Lung Association


Session B:

American Cancer Society

Sussan Olivera

Health Systems Manager, Primary Care

Session C:

American Heart Association


BREAK 2:15-2:30 pm

Workshops II:  2:30 pm-3:15 pm

Participants choose one workshop to attend

Session A:

CHR Environmental Health


Session B:

Arizona Living Well Institute- Chronic Disease Self-Management

Wendy O’Donnell

Session C:

CHWs Voice United to Improving Health Outcomes in Communities Across Arizona (TBD)

General Session IV 3:15 pm-4:00 pm

PRE-Diabetes – “The Hidden Threat Behind the PRE!”

American Diabetes Association

Closing Remarks, Evaluations and Departure 4:00-4:30 pm

Thank you, see you next year at our 2018 Annual Conference!!!

New NRHA Policy Brief Provides Recommendations for Law Makers on CHW Utilization

The NRHA recently published a policy review of “select research findings on Community Health Worker (CHW) integration relevant to policymakers, considers challenges, and presents recommendations to incorporate the CHW model in rural communities to improve health outcomes, reduce health disparities and enhance quality of life for rural Americans.”

Main Findings:
CHWs serve as an evidence based practice to improve health outcomes and
population health—especially for vulnerable, at-risk populations.
Rural communities face numerous healthcare challenges, including: hospital
closures, lack of access to healthcare services, healthcare professional shortages
and lack of culturally appropriate services.
CHWs help bridge healthcare gaps and challenges facing rural communities.
Rural health decision and policymakers should consider the following in terms
of integrating CHWs into rural healthcare: workforce development;
occupational regulation; and sustainable funding.

Read the full report here:

Community Health Workers: Recommendations for Bridging Healthcare Gaps in Rural America

HB2426 Status Report

HB 2426, the bill to support Community Health Worker Voluntary Certification, was not heard at the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee on March 20th, despite all our efforts, so we will be focusing on opportunities to move forward in the next legislative session.

To stay informed about CHW news in Arizona, and to receive CHW advocacy alerts, Subscribe to the AzCHOW mailing list.

Stay Informed




What is a Community Health Worker?: Infographic


AzCHOW developed an infographic with the Arizona Prevention Research Center (AzPRC) to showcase what we know about the roles, scope of work and and impact of Arizona’s community health worker workforce. In 2015, AzCHOW worked with AzPRC and partners to conduct a survey of the state’s CHW workforce. The infographic shows the key findings of the report. Among them are:


A widely accepted definition of “community health worker.”

10 Core roles for CHWs


CHWs serve in all 15 counties in Arizona, and in 19 American Indian Tribes.

Over 1,000 CHWs employed in Arizona in 2015


Dollar for Dollar Savings: for every health care dollar spent….

Managed health care coordination $2.92 saved

Childhood asthma management $4.01 saved

Diabetes self management, education and care $6.10

Plus, gains in Diabetes management, community knowledge about healthy choices, and prevention under weight new borns.


Download the Infographic


AzCHOW Provides Training on Mental Health Risks of Hearing Loss

L-R Rachel Peterson and Laura Coco

L-R Rachel Peterson and Laura Coco

Community Health Workers from diverse organizations met in Douglas this month to learn more about the connection between hearing loss and mental well being. The training was sponsored by the Office of Border Health, US-Mexico Border Health Commission as part of the US-Mexico Border Health Month activities. Collaborators included University of Arizona, the Douglas Ventanilla de Salud, SEAHEC, and Mariposa Community Health Center.

The training provided insight into how CHWs can support families caring for elders to help them adapt to hearing loss. Topics covered included an overview of how hearing works, symptoms and risks of hearing loss, and how to utilize screenings to diagnose and provide prevention and intervention. The training focused primarily on age related hearing loss, and provided and strategies for communication that can reduce the sense of isolation and disorientation resulting from barriers to communication. The training was provided by Laura Coco, AuD, CCC-A UA Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Rachel Peterson, MA, MPH Health Educator, Senior UA Center on Aging.

For more information on training opportunities for community health workers, as well as information on upcoming policy changes that will provide increased opportunity for training and credentialing, subscribe to AzCHOW News, a bi-monthly newsletter providing updates for Arizona’s community health workforce: SUBSCRIBE

Do you have news on upcoming training opportunities in your region? Do you have expertise to share? Contact Us

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) is raising its voice to the important role health care professionals play in combatting the devastating health effects of domestic violence. Women and adolescents who are abused are more likely to suffer from headaches, chronic pain, and sleep issues, and violence can lead to long-term health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and cancer. Violence also increases a woman’s risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

Health care professionals are in a unique and trusted position to connect with women experiencing violence. The Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover screenings and brief counseling for domestic violence without a copayment. Evidence shows that screenings and appropriate interventions by health care professionals can improve the health of women who have been abused and their families. Domestic violence can no longer be considered a pre-existing condition by health insurers.

Survivors of domestic violence or spousal abandonment and their dependents may qualify for a permanent special enrollment period to enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period. This special enrollment period allows survivors to enroll separately from their abuser/abandoner, which may help them regain control of their medical lives. Survivors and their dependents can get the medical and psychological care they need but may not have been able to get.

For more information on screenings and counseling, please review the OWH Health Care Providers’ Role in Screening and Counseling for Interpersonal and Domestic Violence fact sheet.


Free Heart Health Certification

The American Heart Association along with United Healthcare will be hosting a special training for Community Health Workers, Promotores and other community leaders.


This opportunity is free and registrants must attend both days to receive certificate of completion. This event is in English, with future plans already in the making for a Spanish training.

In partnership with United Healthcare, The American Heart Association will assist all registrants in implementing at least 4
educational opportunities in their communities.

October 27th from 1-4:30pm AND October 28th from 9-4:00pm

For location information and registration contact Vanessa Contreras:

APHA Explores Growth of CHW Associations


Yanitza Soto, BS Community Health Worker Program Manager Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco & Chronic Disease

Yanitza Soto

By Yanitza Soto, Guest Blogger

Hello fellow supporters of CHW Networks/Associations in Arizona!

I hope this message finds you well.

This year at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, (Denver, Oct. 29-Nov. 2) the CHW Section will host a workshop titled, “Speaking As One Voice – Exploring the Growth and Development of CHW Associations.”

As part of this workshop planners have created a survey to be shared and completed by CHW Networks and Associations nationwide. I am reaching out to you all as CHW Association and Network Leaders to complete the survey below and share far and wide with your CHW contacts so we can ensure Arizona CHWs have a voice even if we are not present at the APHA annual meeting. Thank you for taking the time to read and share this link!

Kind Regards,


Yanitza Soto is the Community Health Worker Program Manager for the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco & Chronic Disease