Interview with Community Health Team of RI (CHT-RI)
- On June 6, 2017
- In Blog Post
Written by: Mariama Adekomaya, Healthcare Data and Reporting Specialist, CareLink.
The Community Health Team Rhode Island (CHT-RI) is a contracted program between CareLink and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) in which CHT-RI manages a fee-for-service portion of the Medicaid population. Recently, CHT-RI was selected to participate in the Power of Integration: 8th Annual Community Health Worker/Patient Navigator Conference which was held on May 11, 2016 in Norwood, MA and was sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Health. The annual conference provides an opportunity for Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Patient Navigators from around the nation to come together to learn from one another, share ideas, and network.
While some members of CHT-RI attended the conference last year, this year was the first time that the team participated in the conference through a poster presentation of the CHT-RI program. I had the opportunity to sit down with the Director of Care Management and the Clinical Manager, Melissa Miranda and William Walmsley, respectively, along with Community Health Workers (CHWs), Kevin Johnston and Dan Faley, to learn more about their involvement in the poster event and get their perspective on the conference.
Tell me a bit about the Community Health Worker Poster Presentation that your team just participated in
William: The CHT-RI team was able to attend this annual conference where CHWs throughout the U.S. come together to learn from one another and listen to guest speakers. I was impressed to see CHWs that work with various segments of the population such as patients with asthma and cancer.
How did you hear about the Conference?
Melissa: William attended the Conference last year so I heard about it that way. However, I also received an email from Sandy from RI EOHHS earlier in the year with information on submitting a proposal. I submitted a proposal and was excited to learn that our proposal was selected.
What does being selected to participate in the conference mean to you?
William: It was an honor to have been selected. It was nice to be able to attend and represent our team’s hard work.
Dan: I agree, it was an honor especially since it was a national conference and having the opportunity to represent our state. It was also great learning more about other teams throughout the country. I was especially impressed by a small CHW team from Virginia and the progression of their program.
Why did you decide to participate in this conference?
Kevin: That’s what we do. You want to be part of the big picture and support other CHWs. I was surprised that some CHWs work with a very specific population while our team covers it all.
What did you think about the conference? Any surprises or challenges?
William: I was impressed by the overall conference and hearing the many inspirational stories from the CHWs and how some teams overcame certain challenges. I was especially impressed by the Community Health Worker of the Year.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the CHT-RI team?
Dan: I enjoy working with people, helping them learn and advocating for them. You know you’re helping when you can link members to resources. I also enjoy the ability to collaborate with and learn from team members.
Kevin: You know you’re doing a great job when you get up every day knowing that you can have a positive impact on someone’s life and the team is the vehicle to doing that. The team concept is what makes the machine run.
What are your hopes for the CHT-RI team?
William: I hope to continue to clarify and confirm our internal processes while updating our policies and procedures. I also hope that we can expand our team so that we can continue to reach more people.
Melissa: I hope that CHT-RI can become a showcase for the state and for the state to be able to learn from this program. I think the program will inform the CareLink Membership on what the future population they will likely serve will look like. This is a pilot project that is all about learning and we should take advantage of the learning opportunity and showcase it; refine the program and spread it.