From the 2016 AzCHOW Community Health Worker Training Conference
On behalf of AzCHOW’s Board of Directors, it is a pleasure to welcome you to our 13th Annual AzCHOW Conference! This year we focus on the diversity of the CHW workforce, and how that diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We will also shine a spotlight on the relationship between CHWs and their supervisors, and how we can work together to foster our professional growth. It is vitally important that we all have the same understanding of the importance of the CHW workforce, our scope of work and practice, and the same appreciation for the expertise and support CHWs provide their communities.
Last year CHWs across Arizona came together to discuss ideas and recommendations for the direction Arizona should take in developing a professional certification system for CHWs. That work has borne fruit, and we are very close to inaugurating a voluntary certification for CHWs in Arizona.
To ensure that the new certification system is responsive to our needs and goals, we strongly encourage you to participate in the survey that we will be disseminating during the conference to gather information the content and delivery of certification training that will be most beneficial.
Our certification system will also need trainers. Last year, you said that you expected to see the most experienced among you offer their expertise and experience to help prepare colleagues for certification. During this years’ conference we will be providing information about how experienced CHWs can become trainers in their communities and help other CHWs become certified.
As the CHW workforce has grown, so has AzCHOW. Last year, we changed the organization’s name to reflect those changes. AzCHOW is no longer an informal network of CHWs, but a professional association of, by and for CHWs and ready to provide the support this workforce needs to become fully integrated, with all that implies, into the healthcare system.
More changes are coming. As voluntary certification becomes a reality for Arizona’s CHW’s AzCHOW will become the training hub that provides access to training for all CHWs who desire to become certified. We urge you to participate in the process of building the AzCHOW Training Center, by sharing your expertise with us and becoming a trainer for the AzCHOW Training Center.
Finally, I invite you to celebrate with us, today and every day, the diversity of the CHW workforce. We hope that you will take advantage of the many benefits of your AzCHOW membership, and that you will be able to use AzCHOW as both a forum for the exchange of innovative ideas, and as a resource for your professional development.
Arizona Community Health Workers Association (AzCHOW)\
June 16, 2016