CHW Sunrise Application Passes
On November 28, 2017, the Senate Health and Human Services and House Health Committee of Reference voted to pass the Sunrise Application submitted by the Arizona Community Health Worker Association (AzCHOW). Advocates from across the state came to the Arizona Legislature ready to introduce and testify for the CHW Sunrise application. However, due to time constraints, only some of the many ready to testify did. Floribella Redondo, President of the Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers (AzCHOW) Network/Association introduced the application; she received supporting testimonies from Kim Bentley, CHW Certificate Program Coordinator at Central Arizona College; Kim Russell the Executive Director of the Arizona Advisory Council on Indian Healthcare, as well as Daniel Derkson MD, Professor for the Public Health Policy and Management Program, CEP Department Chair, Center for Rural Health Director.Kim Bentley of Central Arizona College also testified in favor of the CHWs in Arizona.
After a long day at the Arizona Legislature, Committee of Reference once again passed AzCHOW’s Sunrise Application. Following their testimonies, the Committee of Reference voted as follows:
Votes for: Heather Carter, Jay Lawrence, Tony Navarrete, Pamela Powers Hannley, David Bradley
Votes Against: Nancy Barto, Debbie Lesko
Absent: Katie Hobbs and Steve Montenegro
Development of the 2018 Sunrise Application
The Arizona Community Health Worker Workforce Coalition has been working three years to strengthen the recognition of the CHWs in our state and mechanisms for sustainability of this important workforce. An important step in this process is state recognition of voluntarily certified CHWs. In Arizona, before legislation supporting this process can be introduced, a sunrise application describing the process must be approved by the health Committee of Reference. This committee consists of the members of the state house and senate health committees. AzCHOW has previously submitted a successful application, and has once again submitted a revised sunrise application.
Sunrise applications were due the month of September. The application was submitted by the Arizona Community Health Worker Association and supporting organizations included the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, Tribal Community Health Representative Programs, the Arizona Association of Health Plans, the Arizona Public Health Association and the Arizona Local Health Officers Association.
The Arizona Prevention Research Center provided technical assistance in the development and revision of the application, coordination of the Arizona Community Health Worker Workforce Coalition and coordination of a tribal summit of community health representatives. The hope is that this passing application will aid in paving the way for the introduction of legislation to support a voluntary certification of community health workers in Arizona.