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Community Health Workers
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For many years, Michigan Community Health Centers have been at the forefront of integrating medical, dental, behavioral care, and patient enabling services; including education, transportation, translation and connection to community support services. In recent years, Community Health Centers expansion and implementation of interdisciplinary team-based approaches has resulted in the addition of Community Health Workers (CHW) to care teams. MPCA is committed to supporting, assisting, and providing technical assistance to Health Centers as they explore and implement team-base models of care, and expand supportive services.


Key Community Health Worker Resources

  • Access resources and tools at 
  • Interact with members of the Community Health Worker Communication Network. Send your request to be added to the network to Brittani Barkley,
  • Stay up-to-date on Enabling Services events, training, resources, and latest news on the Enabling Services webpage.


  • The first quarterly conference call/webinar was held on Thursday, October 20, 2016. The Introduction to the Community Health Worker Peer Network webinar highlighted the support and resources offered to members of the network, tools and templates, upcoming training opportunities and a live walk-through of the online CHW Toolkit.  Review the poll results here. 

Upcoming Community Health Worker Events

Community Health Worker Network Quarterly Webinar

Sponsored by MPCA

January 18, 9:00 am-10:00 am ET

For registration information, please send a message to


The Importance of Prenatal Care and the Role of the Community Health Worker

Sponsored by the Migrant Clinicians Network

January 18, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm ET (English)

February 1, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm ET (Spanish)


Michigan CHW Training Certificate

Presented by Spectrum Health Healthier Communities

John Widdicomb Building

665 Seward Avenue NW Ste 110

Grand Rapids, MI 49504 

Classroom 210


Orientation - Wednesday, January 4 , 2017 – , 8 a.m. to noon.
Course Classes start - Tuesdays, January 10 to April 11, 2017 (14 weeks), from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Registration Fee $900


Register Here!


For questions please contact Lise Thomas as 616-391-3310 or


Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid

Sponsored by Community Mental Health of Clinton, Eaton, & Ingham Counties

Lansing, MI

Upcoming training dates:

ADULT Mental Health First Aid

  • Tuesday, November 29th 2016
  • Tuesday, January 31st 2017
  • Tuesday, May 23rd 2017
  • Wednesday, July 26th 2017

YOUTH Mental Health First Aid

  • Wednesday, March 22nd 2017
  • Wednesday, September 27th 2017



Community Health Worker Definition

In 2006, the Community Health Worker Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG) of the American Public Heath Association (APHA), working with CHWs and their advocates from across the country, submitted a request for a CHW classification to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for inclusion in the Department of Labor 2010 Standard Occupation Classification revision. The CHW SPIG submitted the following CHW definition:


"Community Health Workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of and/or have an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables CHWs to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. CHWs also build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy."



MPCA CHW Initiatives and Programs

  • Linking Clinical Care with Community Supports (Linkages)
    • Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) was awarded funds through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for the Linking Clinical Care with Community Supports (Linkages) Project; to hire, train, and integrate Community Health Workers (CHWs) into primary care teams in 16 Health Centers throughout Michigan. This project directly supports patients by sharing information and resources for accessing food, housing, social services, and counseling. Linkages CHWs will also monitor patients' health and help increase accountability through individualized patient plans.
  • MI Care Team (Health Homes)
    • MPCA and MDHHS are pleased to announce the launch of the MI Care Team, also referred to as Health Homes, on July 1, 2016. Ten Michigan Federally Qualified Health Centers at 44 sites in 23 counties have committed to use an innovative model of care with access to never before available technology and data through Care Connect 360. The participating Health Centers are expected to serve a population of approximately 18,000. In partnership with the Medicaid Services Administration, MPCA is coordinating a comprehensive MI Care Team Learning Community that includes training, technical assistance and peer network supports.
  • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Project
    • In March, 2015, Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) partnered with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society to incorporate a  Community Health Worker (CHW) in eight Michigan Health Centers. The goal of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Project is to increase the number of cervical and breast cancer screenings in each Health Center site. Each Health Center site has unique geography and community demographics, which creates distinctive challenges when engaging patients into the project. These challenges make it imperative that the CHW identifies and utilizes community partners and resources.
    • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Project Infographic
      2015 | PDF | Source: Michigan Primary Care Association
      This infographic provides midpoint results on the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Project, a partnership between the Michigan Primary Care Association, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services and the American Cancer Society.


How to reach us:

Julie Tatko, Director of Operations & Enabling Services



Lydia Starrs, Associate Director, Enabling Services



Brittani Barkley, Outreach Specialist


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