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    August Southside VA SHRM Meeting

    Date: August 29, 2018, 11:30am
    Southside Virginia SHRM Board
    Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
    Visitor $25.00
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    Amanda Young amd Kenya Elliott

    Building a Healthy Workforce and Community By Addressing Health Disparities

    How do you build a collaborative effort and a sense of community across a manufactured region to address health disparities and increase health equity? To start the journey towards Health for All, The Health Collaborative (the Collaborative) in the Dan River Region (bordering NC and VA) utilized data mapping at a hyperlocal (census tract) level to bring to light the differences that exists not only between the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and Caswell County, but also the inequities found within.

    Upon finding disparities and inequities such as a nearly 18-year difference in healthy life expectancy between adjacent neighborhoods, a census tract with a heart disease death rate 6 times greater than the state rate, and an annual food budget shortfall estimated at more than $ 10Million, the Collaborative mobilized a cross sector coalition to create community-identified priorities and developed a community health worker initiative to address many challenges, including poverty, excess emergency department visits and access to health care. By bridging together siloed conversations together across urban and rural communities, the Collaborative bridges disparate efforts into shared goals that are working to dismantle a variety of barriers.

    The Community Health Worker (CHW) Initiative is one example of the effective projects created from THC. While there were complicated histories with some organizations early on, political leadership that was interested but cautious, and logistical barriers to overcome, a pilot CHW project was launched. Through relationship building and cultivating an “in good faith” approach, the project serves as a successful model for bringing different sectors together to rally around a common goal. 

    Learning Objectives

    • Explore opportunities for a community health worker program to serve multiple goals including workforce development, community engagement, and public health. 
    • Learn how a CHW program is using data to intentionally focus in the region’s neighborhoods of highest need to address health disparities and social determinants of health.
    • Learn how a CHW program is using workforce innovation strategies to develop standards for Community Health Workers and a return on investment model for potential employers.