Annual Symposium for Community Health Workers Coincides with National Minority Health Month
South Florida community health workers and patient navigators gather every year for the Miami Dade Health Action Network Southeast Regional Symposium. This year marked the 7th annual symposium on April 20-21 at Bethesda Hospital West and Miami Dade College, Hialeah Campus.
The symposium provided an opportunity for community health workers (CHW) and patient navigators to get valuable training free of charge in both English and Spanish on various health topics such as stroke awareness, tobacco cessation, oral health and end-of-life care. Participants received information and updates regarding State of Florida Community Health Worker Certification, and had a chance to network with many representatives from hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, community organizations, program funders and health industry professionals. The multi-site format ensured the spectrum of populations and communities in the southeast region are served.
“Community health workers, also known as promotores de salud in Spanish, are an important part of a linguistic and culturally diverse healthcare workforce. Many organizations are recognizing this tremendous asset in addressing health disparities, connecting people with health and social services and advocating for healthier communities,” says Brendaly Rodriguez, the symposium’s organizer and Co-President of the Florida Community Health Worker Coalition and Chair of the South Florida Regional CHW Workgroup.
The symposium is one of many, similar events taking place across the country in April for National Minority Health Month — a time to raise awareness on issues impacting health disparities and health equity in America. The theme for 2017, Bridging Health Equity Across Communities, emphasizes the collaborative, community-level work being done nationwide to help achieve health equity.
The special guest speaker was Alexander Vigo-Valentín, Ph.D., Public Health Advisor and Hispanic/Latino Health Policy Lead for the Division of Policy and Data at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH).