In October 19th, 1999, Perinatal Network of Monroe County extended an invitation to several Community Health Workers from the Rochester area to attend a conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference covered a range of important issues focusing on the importance of outreach in the new millennium. One presentation of interest was by the Community Outreach Workers Association of Maryland known as COWAM. COWAM is an association that provides an outlet for CHW's to network as well as acknowledge the importance and benefits of outreach in our communities. Based on the information gathered during the conference by the CHWs that attended, they began to think about the advantages of having a similar group in the Rochester area. The group also received information about the Center for Sustainable Health Outreach's conference.
Community health workers are liaisons who help mitigate health disparities, increase access to care, improve quality of care, and lower healthcare costs.
In February 2000, Healthy Start Rochester invited representatives from CSHO to address outreach related issues within the Rochester community. Convinced that a local association made good sense, in June of 2000, three CHW's gave birth to the Rochester Outreach Workers Association (ROWA) now known as Community Health Workers Association of Rochester, Inc. (CHWAR). Board Members of CHWAR are trained community health workers with a combined total of over 60 years of outreach in the field of perinatal, pediatrics, immunization, HIV, substance abuse, mental health, social services, homelessness, parenting, adolescence, elderly care, immigration, poverty, community resources.
MEET THE BOARD
Director of the Center for Community Health and Health Prevention at the University of Rochester
Commissioner, Rochester City School
Michael Mancenido, MD
Physician at Trillium Health
Holly Russell, MD
Hightland Family Medicine and Assistant Professor at Center for Community Health and Prevention
Women's Initiative Supporting Health-Transitions Clinic (WISH-TC) at the University of Rochester
MBK Coordinator at City of Rochester
Health Project Counselor at University of Rochester
Community Health Worker