Community Health Workers (CHWs), Community Health Advocates (CHAs) and Peers are trusted members of their communities. They share the language, culture and life experiences of their neighbors. They work on the ground level of their communities to understand needs, build trust and advocate for others. The following CHW, CHA and peer teams are supported by HLC.
Rose Village Community Health Worker Team
The Rose Village team focuses on Vancouver’s Rose Village neighborhood, which has approximately 5,000 individuals.
This team’s mission is to promote community wellness by empowering, educating and connecting people to resources, while listening to the voices of their community. Past focus areas include community building and advocating for affordable housing, access to healthy eating and active living opportunities for all community members.
Education Community Health Advocates
In partnership with local schools, we’ve developed an Education Community Health Advocate program within Vancouver’s most diverse middle school, McLoughlin Middle School. Partnering with students and families, our CHWs work to identify systems barriers that contribute to chronic absenteeism – with a special focus on barriers in the school, housing and health systems – and help those families navigate resources to address those barriers.
In the video below, Rose Village CHW team co-leads Brandi and Dominique share insights from their journeys as CHWs with the Healthy Living Collaborative.
Southwest Washington Community Health Advocate and Peer Support Network
The Southwest Washington Community Health Advocate and Peer Network (SW CHAPS) is a grassroots network of community-based community health advocates and certified peers serving Southwest Washington communities. They come together to learn, support one another and share ideas and best practices.
SW CHAPS brings input from its network to improve the larger system of care. That includes facilitating shared learning and support among individuals and organizations that represent underserved communities. Examples include CHWs, CHAs, certified peer specialists, promotor/as de salud, community health representatives, lay health workers, parent advocates and peer mental health counselors.
SW CHAPS invites experts to participate on panels, make presentations and provide training for further development of CHAPS network members. The network also works to elevate community voices and support the strength and power of communities through local and statewide advocacy.
Learn more at swchaps.net
South Kelso Community Health Advocate Team
The South Kelso team focuses on the South Kelso neighborhood in Cowlitz County. The neighborhood has approximately 5,231 individuals.
The team’s vision is to live in a safe and united multicultural community that communicates a message of no racism. They work to address barriers to this vision. For example, lack of opportunities to connect with decision makers, lack of trust, racism, fear and community cohesion.
The team partners with clinics, schools and churches to help move the community toward its larger goals. Past focus areas include advocating for walkability and safe streets, access to healthy foods, immigrant rights and access to quality services and community development.
In 2018, the South Kelso team transitioned to a new home at Youth and Family Link, where they will continue building on their work to-date.
Wahkiakum Youth Community Health Worker Team
This team of high school students focuses on Wahkiakum High School. They connect their peers to community resources. They work to identify and eliminate gaps within the school.
The team is coached by a public health nurse from Wahkiakum Health and Human Services.
Past efforts include securing mental health first aid training at the school and advocating for and implementing a peer support reproductive health curriculum.
In 2018, the Wahkiakum team transitioned to a new home at Wahkiakum Health and Human Services, where they will continue building on their work to-date.