Community Health Workers Learn Leadership Skills at National Conferences on Maternal and Child Health
From 1995 to 1999, the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition a national coalition of more than 200 organizational members representing diverse maternal and child health constituencies held three separate national conferences on maternal and child health. Two of these included leadership training workshops.
The coalition used grant money to send selected community health workers to the conferences. These were community-level workers specializing in maternal and child health who generally do not have the means to attend national conferences.
Since the experience of community health workers is grounded in the reality of the diverse communities they serve, the coalition expected the insights and perspectives of participating community workers to enhance the relevance and quality of the national conferences.
In turn, the opportunity for these individuals to be exposed to the information and exchanges available at a national-level conference of this type would increase their professional development and help prepare them for future leadership roles.
Participants were drawn from several Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)-funded activities involving community outreach, such as the CHAN (Community Health Advisors Network) Project and selected projects from the Opening Doors program, which focused on reducing sociocultural barriers to care.
- Grant ID# 028312:
- Funded 10 or more community health workers to attend the coalition's "Reaching Out, Pulling Together and Holding On" conference, held in October 1995 in Arlington, Va.
- Brought together community health workers, supervisors, and administrators from outreach programs throughout the United States to share their experiences, ideas, concerns, and resources.
- At the conference, attendees and conference leaders identified the lack of strong community-based leadership as a gap that required the coalition's attention. This paved the way for the first pre-conference leadership development institute, which preceded the 1997 conference.
- Grant ID# 031919:
- Funded 10 or more community health workers to attend both the pre-conference leadership development institute and the coalition's biennial conference "Forging New Directions in the Next Millennium," held October 1920, 1997, in Baltimore, Md.
- The objectives of the institute were to define leadership within the field of perinatal outreach work, conduct a self-assessment of leadership qualities among participants, and identify leadership skills useful to leaders.
- The institute featured the following workshops:
- Principles of Leadership
- Public Speaking
- Communication and Listening Skills
- Bridge Building and Balancing between Professionals
- Conflict Management.
- Grant ID# 035810:
- Funded 10 or more community health workers to attend both the pre-conference leadership development institute and coalition's biennial conference "Moving Mountains to Close the Gaps in Health Care," held August 24, 1999, in Seattle, Wash.
- The institute included the following workshops:
- How Do We Advocate for Ourselves and Our Programs?
- How to Translate Data into Dollars.
- The subsequent biennial conference focused on three themes: reducing ethnic and racial disparities, improving access to health care, and ensuring quality of care in the changing health care environment.
The coalition's next biennial conference was held in October 2001 in Clearwater, Fla. It included the third pre-conference leadership development institute, which focused on technology and legislation regarding community health worker issues.
RWJF supported the attendance of the workers at these meetings with three grants totaling $59,395.
GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION
Support for Community Health Workers to Attend Conferences on Maternal and Child Health
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition Incorporated (Washington, DC)
- Support for Perinatal Outreach Workers to Attend National Forum
Amount: $ 19,395
Dates: January 1996 to February 1996
- Attendance at Leadership Conference by Community-Based Perinatal Outreach Workers
Amount: $ 20,000
Dates: November 1997 to December 1997
- Support for Community Health Workers to Attend a Conference on Maternal and Child Health
Amount: $ 20,000
Dates: March 1999 to October 1999
Report prepared by: Jodi Miller
Reviewed by: Robert Crum
Reviewed by: Janet Heroux
Program Officer: Ruby Hearn