Michigan Community Health Worker’s are the Catalyst for Health Care Reform


We were happy to attend the 6th Annual Community Health Worker (CHW) conference in Grand Rapids hosted by Spectrum Health and the Michigan Public Health Training Center, with the awesome Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance (MiCHWA)!

The keynote speaker, Durrell Fox, from the Association of Massachusetts Health Workers shared an excellent talk “The Essential Role of CHWs in an Era of National Health Reform.” The information he shared gave an important perspective from Massachusetts, first in the nation single payer health system, and its continued efforts to innovate in health care reform. Mr. Fox emphasized the critical role of CHWs in pushing health reform forward and making sure that CHW are at the forefront of educating and engaging communities in order to make the best possible health system that helps the most people. We couldn’t agree more that CHWs will change and shape the future of health reform in Michigan and are prepared to support their efforts.

Mr. Fox often asked the question: “What is happening in Michigan?”

MICHUHCAN has been fighting for health reform since 1990. We have been a voice for uninsured individuals and have collaborated with numerous organizations on an ongoing basis to fight for various aspects of health care reform. There are many areas where CHWs can get involved and help push health reform in Michigan. Here is a short list:

1. Medicaid Expansion in Michigan: This has been a long, drag out fight, but we are closer than ever with a potential vote coming up this Wednesday! CHWs can help to share the stories of those in need as well as educate their communities on why Medicaid is an important piece of the health reform puzzle. At the conference we talked with members of CHASS in Detroit, who are launching a specific Medicaid program to enroll new individuals in their community.

2. Health Navigators: This is a new position that has been often filled by CHWs around the US. In Michigan both ACCESS and Michigan Consumers for Healthcare have received big grants to train “health navigators” to help educate and enroll individuals under the Affordable Care Act provisions.

    • If you are a CHW interested in becoming trained as a certified health navigator email: MCHnavigator@gmail.com
    • If you are interested in “Non-Certified Assistor Training” call the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority: (313) 871-3751

3. Information/ Education: We offer a booklet that was created with the collaboration of a number of health advocacy organization in both English and Spanish.

Please let us know of other opportunities that we may have missed!