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policy & advocacy

ORCHWA Policy & Advocacy activities

  • Convene Policy & Advocacy Committee where members:
      • Co-create input on ORCHWA policy priorities and strategies
      • Discuss and co-learn about issues that impact the CHW workforce
      • Plan and participate in CHW Advocacy Day in Salem, Oregon (semi-annual)
  • Participate in/promote CHW leadership in stakeholder advisory groups that impact CHW-related policy priorities, including:
      • Traditional Health Worker (THW) Commission
      • Oregon Health Equity Alliance
      • American Public Health Association CHW Section
  • Develop, recommend, and advocate for sustainable CHW payment models in collaboration with CHWs, CBOs, health systems, and local & state governments
      • Forthcoming statewide CHW Payment Models Guide — open to the public in December 2020.
      • Payment Models Subcommittee of THW Commission
  • Promote partnerships between CHWs, CBOs, and health systems with technical assistance, subject matter expertise, and best & promising practices.
  • Co-facilitate education & training for CHWs to enhance their innate policy & advocacy skills.

Some of our priority issues

  • Advocacy to emphasize & promote the CHW scope of practice and wider understanding of CHWs as:
      • Providers of culturally-specific services
      • Experts of their own professional identity
      • Racial and health equity advocates
  • Sustainable funding for CHW positions and programs
  • Support for culturally-specific CBOs that employ CHWs to participate in fair & just partnerships with health systems and local public health departments
  • Develop statewide infrastructure to support CHW integration with Oregon's transforming health care system
  • Address issues impacting the CHW workforce identified in the 2018 Statewide CHW Needs Assessment
  • Advocacy and support for CHWs amid unprecedented demand for CHW labor and rapidly-evolving contexts:
      • Exposed anti-Black violence
      • COVID-19 pandemic
      • Wildfires and additional impacts of climate change

CHW Payment Models

ORCHWA advocates for sustainable funding for CHWs across employment settings, including CBOs and clinics, in partnership with CHWs, CBOs, health systems, and local & state governments. ORCHWA endorses the Recommendations for THW Payment Models from the THW Commission.

In relation to CHWs, ORCHWA recommends that payment models:

  • Reimburse all CHW employers at rates that sustain CHW programs, CHW positions, and pay living wages and comprehensive benefits for CHWs.
  • Come from reliable, continuous funding sources, including Oregon Health Plan.
  • Pay CHWs for their contributions to long term, cross-sectoral health and racial equity strategies over cost savings and other short-term outcomes.
  • Redistribute resources to build capacity directly in culturally-specific CBOs, including those that employ CHWs.
  • Encourage and sustain partnerships between health systems and non-clinical CHW employers, including culturally-specific CBOs.
  • Honor and compensate CHWs and CBOs for their expertise and wisdom about their communities and their profession.
  • Pay CHWs to apply their qualities, skills, and competencies in the full range of core CHW roles—especially at organizational, community, and policy levels.

Policy Related Recommendations and Documentation

Health Equity Recommendations to Governor Kate Brown (5/29/2020)

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Portland, OR 97232