On April 10th, 2019, Community Health Workers from across the state of Michigan traveled to Lansing for CHW Advocacy Day 2019. CHWs met with legislators to advocate for Community Health Worker inclusion in all aspects of healthcare. WIN Network: Detroit CHW Felicia Lane serves on the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance Steering Committee, and helped plan the CHW Advocacy Day 2019. Check out photos from CHW Advocacy Day 2019 and our interview with Felicia!
What was the purpose of CHW Advocacy Day 2019?
Felicia: The purpose of CHW Advocacy Day was to bring awareness to legislators of who Community Health Workers are, what our purpose is, and what our goals are.
What was it like being at CHW Advocacy Day?
This was the first ever CHW advocacy day. The overwhelming response was so wonderful. Community Health Workers were represented throughout the whole state of Michigan. I enjoyed the fact that CHWs were able to come together and advocate for ourselves and our place in healthcare.
How many people attended?
We expected about 40 people to come to CHW Advocacy Day, but the attendance exceeded our expectations. I’d say over 50 or 60 people came, we ran out of t-shirts!
Why is it important as a CHW to also do this type of advocacy work?
I always like to say, “who advocates for the advocates?” CHWs are always advocating for others, for our community members and patients. In order to get our job done and to make a difference, we must also advocate for ourselves. We must tell our story.
What was it like meeting with legislators in Lansing?
Legislators are people just like you and I. They work for us and we must tell them what we need, what we want, and together how we can make it happen.
What will you remember most from CHW Advocacy Day?
What I took away from CHW Advocacy Day was to remember that the job is not over after this day, it is only the beginning.
Will CHW Advocacy Day happen every year?
Yes, I think it will. With the help of everyone involved this can surely be an annual event.