2020 Virtual Kansas Community Health Worker Symposium

On June 11, 2020, 147 Community Health Workers (CHWs), Promotoras(es) de Salud (PdS), academicians, healthcare partners, a variety of state agencies, non-profit organizations, and other key stakeholders attended the fifth Kansas Community Health Worker Symposium. For the first time ever, the event was virtual! Overall feedback from participants was very positive. Funding for the conference was made possible by the United Healthcare, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Sunflower Health Plan, Health Forward Foundation, REACH Health Care Foundation and Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE).

The conference began with a welcome from the Kansas Community Health Worker Coalition Co-Chair and CHW, Diana Lady. Participants attended the keynote presentation, “CHWs and Telemedicine,” provided by Dr. Justin Moore. They were then able to attend a breakout session of their choice. Options included “Breastfeeding Support During COVID-19: The powerful role of CHWs” by Diana Lady and Treva Smith, “The Role of a Doula as a CHW” by Carmen Valverde, and “Quitting Tobacco for Life: Resources for Clients, Staff, and Community Partners” by Rick Cagan. The last session was an introduction of the Kansas CHW Education Pilot provided by Dr. Elaine Johannes and Alissa Rankin. Input was also gathered from participants on the final elements of the project.

The Kansas CHW Coalition Symposium Committee awarded the first ever Kansas CHW of the Year award, highlighting an exemplary CHW. The committee selecting the award had a terrific response for the nominations. In fact, the response was so great that we decided to announce an honorable mention as well as the finalist of the CHW of the Year. Sharee Wolsey is the honorable mention for the 2020 award. She goes above-and-beyond to assist clients and resolve issues. She possesses all of the CHW Core competencies and is able to facilitate meetings, help with community food drives, and act as a top performer on her CHW team! The finalist for the 2020 CHW of the year is Guadalupe Tredway of the University of Kansas Medical Center. She shows that she exceeds the expectations of a CHW in Kansas. She has been working as a CHW since 2016, and prior to that served as a volunteer in the community for several years. She is passionate and empathetic with her patients and always goes the extra mile to make sure her patients’ needs are met. We congratulate both and are fortunate to have them serving Kansas!

All recorded sessions will soon be available online at https://kschw.org/symposium/.

Please contact Alissa Rankin at alissa.rankin@wichita.edu for more information.