CHW Convening

Georgia Department of Public Health

A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline health worker who is trusted member of and/or has demonstrated working knowledge of the community and individuals served. Georgia Department of Public Health hosted a convening of CHW from all over the state of Georgia in the central location of Macon, GA. The objective of the training was gather to discuss their challenges as CHWs, and promote self-care. Sessions during this convening were: How to Build Community Resources and Partnerships by community activist, Will Francis; Self-Care by Danette Glass of First Team America; Health Equity for All by the National Council for Mental Well-Being; and Emerging from the Pandemic: Strategies to Address Systemic Impact of COVID 19 by Corporation for Supportive Housing.

The theme “I am a CHW” was adopted for this convening to amplify the importance of their role in building stronger communities – especially with underserved populations. Signage was placed in the lobby and conference room to welcome the CHWs and included the definition of a CHW to reinforce their job description. Name badges and tote bags also reflected “I am CHW”.

In addition to programming, self-care packages were made for each of the CHWs that included a journal, coffee mug with inspirational quotes, tea, and relaxation candle. Everyone left with a gift from DPH as well as from the self-care workshop led by First Team America. Visitor guides to CHWs so they could explore Macon on their own and identify places for dinner.

The CHWs enjoyed collaborating and sharing their challenges and successes. Many of the CHWs were able to come up with creative solutions to issues in the areas of service with the help of their peers. There were discussions on how they can utilize other resources in their 

The presenters were amazing and provided invaluable information on how they can be more effective in their community. The link to self-care and effectiveness was critical given the type of work CHWs do and how the stress of “heart” can weigh on a person. Self often comes last, however the workshop brought to the forefront that taking care of oneself has to be made a priority for survival in this field.

The participation and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Engagement level was high; there was never a moment when there was not a discussion going on and questions being asked and answered.