HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM) is pleased to share a noteworthy achievement amongst its staff members. As of February 28th, 2022, HCAM has a total of 29 staff members that have earned their Community Health Worker (CHW) Certification. The 29 certified Community Health Workers work across HCAM’s programs, representing Care Coordination Program, MATCH, Connector, Eligibility, Baltimore Health Corps, and Complex Care & Social Needs services.
Community Health Workers are frontline public health advocates that understand the community they serve, bridging a gap between health and social services to increase health knowledge, access to care, and support community members to manage health issues. CHWs are trained in the core competency strategies of cultural competency, ethics and confidentiality, health literacy, health promotion, outreach methods, social change, community capacity building, and effective communication.
In the State of Maryland, to become a Community Health Worker, one must be 18 years of age or older, a high school graduate, and successfully complete an accredited CHW training program. CHW Certification is valid for two years and can be renewed with continuing education.
Kimberly Lyles, HCAM’s Senior Director of Population Health, shares the benefits of having certified Community Health Workers as a part of HCAM’s team:
“The benefit of having CHWs in HCAM’s Care Coordination program helps ensure that members of the community are served by a workforce with an expertise that reduces health disparities in Baltimore. It has been shown that utilizing the skills of the CHWs at HCAM has increased the understanding of health insurance benefits, linkages of essential health services, and the connection to social resources that supports success and wellness in our neighborhoods.”
HCAM fosters a culture of continued learning and professional development, and it is evident and reflected in our staff’s achievement in receiving their CHW Certification. We are proud of our staff members who are committed to developing professionally and prioritize bridging the gap between health and social services for Marylanders.