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Community Health Workers Connect!
News and Recognition of Community Health Workers
in the Rochester region
Issue 4

Community Health Workers Association of Rochester Inc. CHWAR, is a non-profit organization that advocates to strengthen the profession and leadership of Community Health Workers (CHWs). 

CHWAR is a professional association that is dedicated to advancing the workforce through CHW development, building standards and establishing CHWs as integral members of health reform innovations.


Happy New Year!

This is the first newsletter of 2020 and we have a lot of exciting news to share! We are also looking to fill our next training class with our HPOG partners at Action for a Better Community.

There are lots of opportunities to see CHWs hard at work in our area.

We want to share your hard work! It helps to see all the hard work going on out there and often times we don’t even know everything that is going on. We hope to continue to highlight this wonderful work.

Feel free to share our newsletter and to anyone you think would benefit from any of the information included.



Speak Life! Health Equity Conference
Saturday, April 25th, 2020, 
Asbury First United Methodist Church
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Join us to discuss health equity and the social determinants of health at the 2nd Annual Speak Life! Health Equity Conference, which is planned by the African American and Latino Health Coalitions. The coalitions are convened by Common Ground Health.

We will invite the community to explore the social determinants of health, which are the many non-clinical influences that impact health, oftentimes more so than visits to the doctor. We will see how housing, education, income and other factors underlie disparities in mental health, substance use, and violence for communities of color in our region. Friday evening, we will introduce some of these concepts while enjoying gospel music with the Speak Life! Choir.

At the conference we will look at why young people are dying prematurely due to violence and suicide. Too many people suffer the consequence of drug use disorders. Why? Why now? Help us take the community on a journey of exploration aimed at encouraging our community to work together to tackle the problems we see on a daily basis.

This event will include prominent speakers, guided small-group discussions and skilled facilitators to help spur all to action. In the weeks prior to the conference, we will host a series of four smaller forums for targeted sectors of the community: local government representatives; religious leaders / clergy; healthcare executives; and business owners.

Sponsorships are available. Sponsors receive ad space in the program and an information table, and will be highlighted in advertising leading up to the event as available, as well as during the concert and conference. To secure a sponsorship, please email Olivia Linden at as soon as possible, but no later than 2/3/2020. We look forward to seeing you April 25th!

If you would like to register and pay by check, please mail a check for $10 per attendee by April 13 to: Common Ground Health, 1150 University Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607. Please include a note with registrant name(s), email or phone number, and write that the check is for registration for the Speak Life! conference.

Tickets purchased through April 13 are $10. Tickets purchased after that and at the door will be $15. Email by April 13 if you need American Sign Language interpreting or Spanish translation services or to ask about scholarships.

Boxed lunches will be provided at the event, and information will be sent to registered attendees to select the lunches.

Community Health Worker Training 2020

CHWAR will be hosting a training session beginning in February 2020

Sponsored by: Health Professional Opportunity Grant

Target group: Individuals seeking an entry level career in the healthcare field as a CHW.  

Duration: Total of 96 hours of classroom instruction.  108 hours of internship. 

Specific Objectives: Trainees working in the capacity engagement will be able to identify the correlation of their roles with that of a community health worker using the various skill set that will promote effective community outreach.  Trainees will learn the basics of home visiting: communication, outreach safety, stress management, mandated reporting and professionalism from experienced CHW trainers in the field of outreach. Trainees will also be instructed on the various health needs of the community.
CHW training students participatinig in a 2 day training held by Sergio Matos and April Hicks of the Community Health Worker Network of NYC!
When: Februrary 24th, 2020 - June 3rd, 2020
Mondays and Wednesdays
Where: Action for a Better Community
400 West Ave, Rochester

Training is fully comprehensive and will include the scope of practice and core competencies of CHW education.  Training will be in modules covering: scope of practice, home visitation, communication skills, time management, transportation, paperwork, work ethics, supervision, stress management, and community resources. The training model was created and implemented with input from experienced CHWs, serving as CHWAR’s training facilitators. Trainings are face-to-face, allowing CHWs for hands-on training and practice of skills. Additionally the training will include interview and resume preparation including articulating the unique skills of a CHW.

If interested in registering, please complete the application below.

Please contact for any further questions.
Click Here to Apply Now
Meet CHWAR's Training Coordinator: 
Jacqueline Sweeney

Jacqueline has been a CHW with Strong Social Work Division's Baby Love Program for 25 years working with parent women to ensure healthy birth outcomes.  

  • Co-Chair of CHWAR from 2000 to 2010

  • Advisory Board for the Adapting Collaborative Care Perinatal Depression Treatment to a Pediatric Setting in 2008

  • Advisory Group of the Eastman Dental Home Project from 2005-2009

  • Steering Committee Member of the Rochester Area Family Life Education from 1994-2004

  • Mercy Residential Board from 1994-1999

With funding support from Sanofi US and Boston University School of Social Work, Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health, NACHW Board Treasurer Geoff Wilkinson and authors report on the methodology and findings from a survey collect basic information about local, state, and regional CHW membership organizations in the United States and to inform the development of  a national CHW workforce organization.

Read Full Report Here!
CHW Spotlight: Kim Smith

Kim Smith is running for the New York State Senate District 61.

For over thirty years, Kim has worked to create health policies that improve access, advocated for disenfranchised communities, and brought together diverse people to build coalitions and solve problems. Now, Kim wants to take that experience and use it to represent the people of the 61st District - to fight for equitable policies, demand our seat at the table, and bring home to our District our fair share of resources. From the urban and rural poor who deserve a chance to thrive, to the farmers struggling to make ends meet, to the middle class over burdened by property taxes, Kim is ready to fight and be your voice. But she can't do it alone. Will you stand with Kim? Because together, we are enough!

Learn More
Barbershops and Beauty Salons as Hubs for Community Health Work

How barbershops can keep men healthy | Joseph Ravenell

Rochester salons foster community conversations on health, wellness

Cassandra McCrea owns Diva Defined Salon & Boutique in Rochester, and has conversations with clients about their health while they're in the styling chair.
On Monday, January 27th from 7:30-8:30 pm at Brue Coffee...

Breaking the Bubble—A Community Conversation Series

“Community Engagement through the Lens of Barbershops and Salons”

A Panel of United Professional Barbers and Cosmetologists Association members provided insight into the important role barbershops and salons play, and how they continue to be important to the community. Learn more about how these places have not only been locations to get hair care services, but where people can go to talk about issues of importance to them and their community.

Panel included:
Willie Lightfoot, Rochester City Councilman / President of the UPBCA / Owner / New Creations Unisex Shop
Wade Davis, Owner / Wade & Me Barbershop
Andre Morrison, Owner / Andres Barbershop
Dr.Desjamebra Robinson, NYS cosmetologist

*Sponsored by the Office for Residential Life and Housing Services in association with The Rochester Center for Community Leadership.

Learn more about Community Health Educators at Barbershops
Share Your CHW News with Us!
Spreading information within the CHW professional network
  • Success stories in our community
  • Training and professional development opportunities
  • Best practices
  • Community resources
  • Job opportunities in the field
Email us your news and we will share it with our members!
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Community Health Workers Association of Rochester, INC. (CHWAR) · 435 Liberty Ave · Rochester, NY 14622-1957 · USA

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