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Community Partnerships & Volunteers – April 17, 2021

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Financing Community Health Workers Through Medicaid

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As the nation grapples with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, community health workers (CHWs) are being recognized for the role they play in improving health outcomes of our most vulnerable communities. In fact, the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allocates funding for the recruitment, hiring, and training CHWs by public health departments.

Federal attention on community health workers comes after many years of state-level efforts to increase financing opportunities for CHWs. Some state and local agencies use grant funds (e.g., CDC 1815 funds, HRSA, state grants) to pay CHW salaries or contracted positions. Health systems and providers may also pay for CHW positions voluntarily through a core operating budget, which often begins with a pilot successfully demonstrating a return on investment for the provider.

CHWs are often paid for a broad range of services that are core to their work, like relationship-building and community outreach activities, that otherwise might not be reimbursed through insurance. Some states require their Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) to offer CHW-delivered services or employ CHWs as an administrative cost. Medicaid managed care financing mechanisms—which provide Medicaid health benefits and services through contracted arrangements between Medicaid agencies and MCOs—do not necessarily require increased payment but may shift how providers allocate capitated payments from the managed care plans. Indiana and South Dakota have submitted Medicaid state plan amendments to allow CHW reimbursement or other non-licensed providers for preventive services in fee-for-service settings. Alternatively, states could apply for a federal demonstration waiver to integrate CHWs into broader delivery system reform efforts.

Suffice to say, despite the effectiveness of CHWs in tackling social determinants of health, it has not been easy to figure out sustainable financing mechanisms for their work. So, states are also exploring opportunities to use Medicaid to fund CHWs. In the current legislative cycle, several states have introduced bills that would reimburse CHW services through Medicaid.

Minnesota introduced HF 69 to expand the range of CHW-delivered services covered by the current Medicaid reimbursement provisions. The bill provides a definition for care coordination provided by CHWs to include activities such as addressing a client’s mental health, social, economic, housing needs—as well as services such as dental care.

Indiana introduced HB 1147, which would allow the state to reimburse six types of Medicaid providers, including CHWs, for seven medically necessary telemedicine services. These telehealth services include conducting health assessments and providing consultation.

Illinois introduced HB 158, the Community Health Worker Certification and Reimbursement Act. Under this bill, CHW services are covered under the medical assistance program, a state-wide program providing healthcare related assistance to eligible residents. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services would develop services—like care coordination and diagnosis-related patient services—for which CHWs will be eligible for reimbursement through Medicaid.

Nevada introduced AB 191, which would direct the state to submit a Medicaid state plan amendment to CMS for coverage of CHW-delivered services. Provision of these services would be under the supervision of a physician, physician assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse.

Texas introduced SB 136, which would allow each Medicaid MCO providing healthcare services under their Medicaid managed care program to categorize services provided by a community health worker as a quality improvement cost instead of as an administrative expense. Most people receiving Medicaid in Texas get coverage through the STAR managed care program which covers low-income children, pregnant women, and families who get their services through health plans they choose.

As states look to identify sustainable strategies for addressing disparities, CHWs will play an essential role in serving as bridges to communities where health and social inequities are prevalent. Expanding financing opportunities for CHWs will help strengthen the role of a community-based workforce in improving health outcomes. ASTHO will continue to track legislation and highlight new strategies that states can use to finance CHW programs.

Tequam Worku, MPH, is a senior analyst for clinical to community connections at ASTHO

The development of this blog is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 2 UD3OA22890-10-00. Information, content, and conclusions will be those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawai’i COVID-19 3R Team Updates – March 15, 2021

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From: NHPI Hawai’i COVID-19 3R Team <>
Date: Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 2:39 PM
Subject: Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawai’i COVID-19 3R Team Updates – March 15, 2021

March 16, 2020

The Hawaii Department of Health updates Race data each Monday.

Click on the image to navigate the DOH Dashboard.

……….475,661 Vaccines Administered in Hawai’i, 3/15/21……….
March 16, 2021
Beginning today vaccination data will be reported by Race/Ethnicity daily at noon.  However, data being collected is only drilled down to five buckets in accordance with the federal Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).  Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders are recombined and reported accordingly.

Successful with the infection data collection and reporting, the NHPI 3R Team will continue to advocate for the disaggregation of vaccination data so we can all better serve our communities.

State of Hawaii Weekly COVID-19 Cluster Report, 3/11/2021

ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

Vaccination Registration
Vaccination Sites
Pier 2 Cruise Terminal
*70+ by appointment only. Register
521 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu

Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall
*70+ by appointment only. Register
777 Ward Avenue, Honolulu

Wilcox Medical Center
*70+ by appointment only. Register
3-3420 Kuhio Highway, Lihue

Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital
*70+ by appointment only. Register
4643 Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea

Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital
*70+ by appointment only. Register
4800 Kawaihau Rd, Kapaʻa

Maui Memorial Medical Center

*Phase 1a and Phase 1b individuals. Register
221 Mahalani St, Wailuku
Molokai General Hospital
*Health care personnel, 75+, and frontline essential workers. Walk-ins only.
280 Home Olu Place
Queen’s North Hawai‘i Community Hospital
*Health care workers, essential workers, 70+. Appointment only. Email and include name, date of birth, phone number, and employer if you are an essential worker.

The Department of Health has just published a guide to caring for persons with COVID-19.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
Learn more
O’ahu has moved into tier 3 of the COVID-19 reopening strategy.
Read the mayor’s Emergency Order here.
Read more about tier 3 and the reopening strategy below
Read the amended order here.
In-Language Reopening Strategy Documents
Several surveys are still in circulation  Your contributions will support accurate allocation of resources, public health message development.
Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Hawai’i’s Diverse Communities
March 22 at 3 PM HST
Register HERE
Registration and Zoom link coming soon!
“We are never closer to defeat than in our moments of our greatest victory.”
Kamaka Pili addresses pandemic fatigue.
How long does vaccine immunity last?  In 6 Pacific languages.  @NextGenHawaii

What is the burden of COVID-19 on
Pacific Island and Native Hawaiian communities
in Hawai’i?

The Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawai’i COVID-19 Response, Recovery & Reslilience Team (NHPI 3R) was established in May 2020, in alignment with the national NHPI Response Team, to improve the collection and reporting of accurate data, identify and lend support to initiatives across the Hawaiian Islands working to address COVID-19 among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and unify to establish a presence in the decision-making processes and policies that impact our communities.  More than 40 agencies, organizations and departments comprise this NHPI 3R Team.


  • Testing, Tracing & Isolation             Mondays, 2 – 3 PM
  • Policy                                               Mondays, 4 – 6 PM
  • Social Support/Recovery                Tuesdays, 12 – 2 PM
  • Communications                             Thursdays, 12:45 – 2 PM
  • Data & Research                             Fridays, 10 AM – 12 PM

To participate in a committee, please complete this survey:

To share information or resources, complete this form:


The NHPI 3R Team has recently completed a 5-part series summarizing the work of the Team to address COVID-19 and prepare for recovery.  Each week we featured an in-depth look in a different topic: Vaccinations, Data, Communications, Policy and Social Supports and Recovery.

Watch them at

Find Out More


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  For media inquiries, contact:
  National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW)
  Aurora Grant Wingate
  NACHW NCRN Coordinator

Nearly 40 national partner organizations band together to bring communities culturally appropriate information and health services.

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) has joined the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)’s National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN) of partners to inform community-driven response, recovery, and resiliency strategies for addressing the impact of COVID-19 on communities.

In response to the needs of communities most impacted by COVID-19, NACHW has partnered with Morehouse to integrate the qualities, roles and expertise of Community Health Workers (CHWs, including Promotoras de Salud and Community Health Representatives) to improve the cultural humility and appropriateness of community engagement, education, data collection and information dissemination strategies with communities that experience physical and social vulnerabilities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. NACHW has been awarded a contract from Morehouse to recruit, hire and support eleven CHW Liaisons who share trusting relationships, lived experience, culture, language and geography with specific priority communities in the NCRN initiative. Liaisons will develop and cultivate partnerships with individuals and organizations in these geographic areas, as they support six national goals in the NCRN initiative.


One of the organizations NACHW has partnered is Ka’u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. Jessanie “Auntie Jessie” Marques, a lifelong CHW and Executive Director of Ka’u Rural Health Community Association, has signed on to support NACHW’s partnership with NCRN as a NACHW COVID-19 Community Engagement Liaison.


“Our partnership with Morehouse provides a unique opportunity for NACHW to amplify CHWs as equity leaders, community partners and skilled providers who can increase access to COVID-19 education, testing, contact tracing, health and psychosocial services and vaccines for communities who experience historic and systemic barriers,” says NACHW Executive Director, Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN.

The launch of the NCRN occurs alongside the release of new digital technology accessible through the NCRN website. It provides location-based recommendations on where community members can get a COVID-19 test, fill prescriptions and get a COVID-19 vaccine when distribution increases in the coming months.

“Our national network connects individuals, families, community organizations and clinical providers to timely and relevant COVID-19 information and services in their neighborhood,” says Dominic Mack, MD, MBA, Professor of Family Medicine and Co-Director of the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network in the National Center for Primary Care at MSM.

The NCRN launch follows a $40 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to coordinate a strategic network focused on delivering COVID-19-related information to communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

To access new COVID-19 resources, visit

About the National Association of Community Health Workers

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) strives to unify the voices of the community health workers and strengthen the profession’s capacity to promote healthy communities through our six key values of self-empowerment, self-determination, social justice and equity, unity, integrity, and dignity and respect. Community Health Workers (CHWs), also known as promotoras de salud, Community Health Representatives, Outreach Specialist, Peers, etc, are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of and/or have an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables CHWs to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. CHWs also build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. Visit our website to learn more and to join our membership.

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Morehouse School of Medicine, located in Atlanta, GA, exists to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities; increase the diversity of the health professional and scientific workforce; and address primary health care through programs in education, research, and service, with emphasis on people of color and the underserved urban and rural populations in Georgia, the nation, and the world. MSM is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians and has twice been recognized as the top institution among U.S. medical schools for its dedication to the social mission of education. The faculty and alumni are noted in their fields for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, and are known in the community for exceptional, culturally appropriate patient care. Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate and master’s degrees.

Status of SB858 Relating to Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Testimonies

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Aloha KRHCAI Board & Members;

Mahalo for all who provided testimony in support of SB858 Relating to CHWs for your reference. Please note amendments to SB858: deleted certification and reimbursements; supported establishing a Task Force.

Attached is full Health Committee report on Hearing and its referral to Ways and Means (WAM) and Consumer Protection (CPN) committees. Phone: (808)974-4000 x 66090.

1. The next step is contact Sen. Donovan DelaCruz WAM Chair office to request a hearing on SB858. This is where it is critical for as many to call Sen. Dela Cruz office and request a hearing ASAP, so a hearing date/time can be placed on the calendar.

2. Review SB858 with Amendments (SSCR498), then prepare testimony in support of SB858 / SSCR498. I can assist in preparing testimony if anyone would like to submit. Legislative turn around time is 72hrs. when Hearing is posted that we have to submit testimony.

3. If you have never submitted testimony, please note that you must first register at Hawaii State Legislature website.

Please let me know what your thoughts are on SB 858: SSCR498.

Stacyn Sakuma <>
Monday, February 22, 2021, 9:32:40 AM HST


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On behalf of Ka’u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. board of directors and I, words cannot express what an honor and pleasure it is to be a part of Kau’s FINEST Network of Community Resources and volunteers, i.e. Bay Clinic Inc. , Ka’u Hospital & Rural Health Clinic, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Hawaii County Mayor Roth’s Administration, Civil Defense, Parks & Recreation, Ka’u Police Dept., DOH/Hawaii District Health Office, Hilo Medical Center, and Coordinated Services. We especially thank the Kupuna, caregivers and families for your commitment “To Do What It Takes To Keep Ka’u Healthy” . We look forward to seeing everyone at the next Covid 19 Vaccine Clinic!

Kupuna came from Oceanview, Naalehu, Pahala and Volcano. Comments included “all the staff, volunteers and vendors were respectful kind, courteous, patient, friendly, sincere and professional”. Everyone said they looking to return for the next Covid 19 Vaccine and will share their positive experience with friends, family, neighbors and community.
Warmest Mahalo Nui Loa,
Auntie Jessie