About the Coalition.

The Florida Community Health Worker Coalition (FCHWC) is a tax exempt nonprofit educational organization considered one of the most effective voices in Florida championing for the advancement of the community health worker (CHW) profession. To promote its mission and plans, the Coalition considers input from a variety of stakeholders through conference calls, focus groups, surveys of members, and by regions and Annual CHW Coalition Summits.

The Coalition began in February 2011 as an initiative of the Policy, Environmental and Systems Change (PES) grant awarded to the Florida Department of Health. The grant supported creation of a task force to explore current research, including models, curriculum, and best practices in order to create a viable market place for CHW’s. The CHW initiative aligns with the Governor-appointed Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council’s (CCRAB).

The coalition’s structure consists of a Board of Directors, two co-presidents, five working subgroups Policy, Curriculum, Practice, Networking/Sustainability, and Research. These working subgroups are usually Co-Chaired by a CHW, CHW ally and a member of the Board of Directors. The Subgroups address specific action items and/or CHW related issues as determined by its members and “reports back” to the coalition.

FCHWC members choose the subgroups in which they wish to participate. Co-Presidents, and the Co-Chairs or the board of directors may appoint or request other members/partners to participate in working subgroups if necessary to assure expertise is available for educational and policy development.

Florida Community Health Worker Coalition has 750 members of which 305 are Certified Community Health Workers.

What is a Community Health Worker?

A CHW is a frontline health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a link between services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.

American Public Health Association CHW Section: http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/chw/

Also called: Promotoras de salud, lay health worker, peer educator, community health representative, peer counselor, outreach worker, community connector, among others.

Board of Directors

Brendaly Rodriguez

Co-President – University of Miami, CTSI

Patria Alguila

Past President – MHP Salud

Cheryl Kerr

Treasurer – St. Petersburg College

Sornia Joseph

Secretary – Jessie Trice Community Health Center

Melissa Thibodeau

Board Director – Heartland Rural Health Network

Lisa H. Jones

Co-President – NE Florida Community Health Collaborative

Mia Rosario

Board Director – Finance Support – Department of Health

Tonya Bell

Board Director – Healthy Start

Carolyn Tucker

Board Director – University of Florida

Advisory Board Members

Marion Banzhaf

Marisol Losa

Josephine Mercado

Dana Kontras

Lepena Reid

Lolita Dash-Pitts

Linda Page

Donna Fishkin

Maria Azqueta

Kamaria Laffrey

Sean Dickerson

Nannette Molina

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