PIH-US and National Association of Community Health Workers Host Federal Briefing on Community-Based Workforce
PIH-US convenes partner organizations in an advocacy day on Capitol Hill to educate members of Congress and their staff about the critical role of community health workers and promotoras in the U.S.
Posted on Mar 28, 2023
On March 8, PIH-US mobilized partner organizations for a day of advocacy to educate members of Congress and Congressional staff about the critical role of community health workers (CHWs) and promotores/as de salud in the U.S.
PIH-US worked closely with the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW), Visión y Compromiso, Project CHAMPP, and seven other organizations to organize the first-ever Congressional briefing on the community-based workforce. The groups brought over 40 CHWs, promotoras, and allies to Washington, D.C., to attend a panel and advocate on Capitol Hill. CHWs and promotoras are frontline public health workers with a close understanding of the community they serve, and they are the backbone of PIH’s work across the globe and our vision for equity-centered public health systems in the U.S.
Congressional briefings are a way to inform several members of Congress and staff at once about a particular issue and feature personal stories for policymakers to better understand the impact of policy and funding decisions. This briefing was an opportunity for staff to hear directly from leading CHWs and promotoras, learn about the diverse workforce, and leave with new ideas for how to support the workforce through sustainable financing and comprehensive capacity-building. For PIH-US, the day was also a chance to bring learnings from our longstanding work with CHWs worldwide and our work alongside local public health and community leaders in the U.S.
Below, we share photos from the advocacy day.
The day began with a Congressional briefing in the Capitol Visitor Center. As Congressional staff file into the briefing room, PIH-US Executive Director Katie Bollbach prepares to moderate the panel. Over 75 people attended the briefing, including over 30 Congressional staff. Photo courtesy of Lucas Allen
The briefing began with opening remarks from Representative Sylvia Garcia (D-TX). Since joining the House in 2018, Congresswoman Garcia has worked with promotoras in South Texas to advance community health priorities. Photo courtesy of Ali Bloomgarden
Katie was joined on the panel by CHWs and promotoras representing some of PIH-US' closest advocacy partners. The briefing panelists included Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox, Co-Founder, National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) and Director of CHW Leadership Development at the Center for Community Health Alignment; Maria Lemus, Executive Director, Visión y Compromiso; and Brea Burke, Community Health Worker, Project CHAMPP. Photo courtesy of Ali Bloomgarden
Following the briefing, the panelists pose for a picture outside of the briefing room. From left to right, Katie Bollbach, Executive Director, PIH-US; Brea Burke, Community Health Worker, Project CHAMPP; Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox, Co-Founder, National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) and Director of CHW Leadership Development at the Center for Community Health Alignment; Maria Lemus, Executive Director, Visión y Compromiso. Photo courtesy of Lucas Allen
PIH-US and our partners also facilitated meetings with legislators and staff throughout Capitol Hill. The 11 organizations co-hosting the advocacy day developed shared messages that we used to educate Congressional staff. Earlier in the day, Justin Mendoza, PIH-US Advocacy Lead, gave tips for how to meet with legislative staff. Photo courtesy of Lucas Allen
Advocates from PIH-US, NACHW, and Visión y Compromiso met with Representative Raul Ruiz (D-CA) to discuss the CHW and promotora workforce. Pictured (left to right): Maria Lemus, Angie Kuzma, Lucas Allen, Katie Bollbach, Adela Maciel de Corona, Rep. Raul Ruiz, Belen Navarro Valenzuela, Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox, Justin Mendoza, and Maribel Montes de Oca. Photo courtesy of Visión y Compromiso
By the end of the day, we had met with over 40 Congressional offices and connected with over 100 Congressional staffers. This advocacy day reinforced how much further PIH-US' advocacy efforts can go when walking alongside our partners. Photo courtesy of Ali Bloomgarden