Casa Saludable Pilot Training, December 2015
Last August, SEAHEC, and partners launched an innovative collaboration to improve access to health insurance and health services in southern Arizona. The initiative also provides workforce development opportunities for community health workers, who link rural and underserved communities in Cochise, Pima and Santa Cruz Counties to Arizona’s health insurance marketplace.
The eight member Consortium, known as “Casa Saludable” (Healthy House) are training CHWs in each county to conduct outreach and education with anticipated reach of 20,000 people during the life of the project. Of those, SEAHEC expects approximately 25% to enroll in health coverage. The Consortium will reach people already enrolled to help them make the most of their insurance plans and identify a health home. CHWs will provide health insurance customers with health insurance literacy education and information on how to access services from local health care providers.
Casa Saludable uses an integrated set of strategies to achieve these goals, which includes:
- Use of culturally competentU bilingual community health workers (CHWs), “promotores de salud” to provide appropriate outreach and education.
- In reach” or training and support of CHW staff members so that they are better prepared to conduct education and enrollment activities in coordination with partner agencies;
- Use of a “promising practice” – integrated tools for master trainers, a Train the trainer (TtT) model for providing education on ACA, benefits counseling and accessing health services.
Casa Saludable Consortium members include SEAHEC, a health workforce development agency, AzCHOW, Arizona’s professional association for community health workers in Arizona, Pima County Access Program which provides health care access and assistance to low income uninsured in southern Arizona, and four federally qualified health centers: Chiricahua, serving Cochise County, Mariposa, serving Santa Cruz County and El Rio and Desert Senita, serving Pima County. In Cochise County, Cochise Health and Social Services also provide outreach and education assistance through its established network of social services.
In December, the Consortium wrapped up a successful first quarter by laying down the foundation that will guide and sustain the initiative’s activities over the next three years. Milestones include:
- A strategic plan submitted to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA,) which funds the initiative and,
- An ACA 101 pilot training for CHWs to assure the curriculum is culturally appropriate and easily understood
To date, the Casa Saludable Consortium has enrolled over 2,000 persons into health coverage. For more information contact SEAHEC Executive Director Gail Emrick at email@example.com
“This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This information or content and conclusions are 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.”
AzCHOW Launches Training Center
AzCHOW board members and Yanitza Soto, AzDHS CHW Program Manager
L-R Front row: 2015 Felicia Sander, board member, Yanitza Soto, Floribella Redondo, President, Maria Lourdes Fernandez, Treasurer.
Back row: Lorena Verdugo, Vice President, and Roxana De Niz, member.
The launch of the Casa Saludable “inreach” training program also signals the launch of Arizona’s new state wide Community Health Worker Training Center. For over a decade, AzCHOW, as Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Network, has provided an annual training conference for CHWs that included policy and advocacy information, along with community health topics, in an effort to build CHW capacity and support for CHW integration into the healthcare workforce. The Affordable Care Act has resulted in increased investment in CHW initiatives, including the funding for Casa Saludable, which has opened professional doors for CHWs. AzCHOW has responded to recent policy changes by moving away from the informal advocacy network model to become the Arizona Community Health Workers Association whose primary goals include becoming the primary state recognized
CHW training provider in Arizona.
AzCHOW’s Training Center provided two ACA trainings in the last quarter of 2015. The first ACA 101 pilot training drew five community health workers from across southern Arizona, and the second was provided to Chiricahua Community Health Center’s staff and board member. AzCHOW Training Center’s future trainings will be open to CHWs from other agencies. CHWs and their employers interested in Benefits Counseling/Marketplace Education should look for announcements on the AzCHOW website at www.azchow.org.
For more information on ACA trainings and or other CHW trainings contact: Floribella Redondo, AzCHOW President, Project Coordinator for Casa Saludable at: firstname.lastname@example.org