Community Health Workers

Welcome to the Georgia Community Health Worker information page! The purpose of this page is to provide updates and information regarding the role and work of CHWs in Georgia.
Check back frequently for updates and news around our progress in Georgia.

CHW Advisory Board Updates

In May 2017, individuals were selected from across the state to serve on the Georgia Community Health Worker Advisory Board. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to help align our efforts statewide to define, train, and certify CHWs, and to provide recognition to this growing group of professionals.  

Individuals were selected based on nominations received by the Community Health Worker Steering Team and their experience or interest working with CHWs. The board members represent the following areas: health systems, health plans, academia, community based organizations, advocacy groups, rural health, government, physicians, nursing, public health, social work, legal, and most importantly, community health workers.

The initial task for the Advisory Board will be to determine an appropriate definition for CHWs in Georgia. Additionally, the board members will organize workgroups around training, certification, reimbursement, and advocacy for CHWs.

The first two board meetings will be held in Atlanta, GA July 13th and August 10th, 2017. A statewide forum is also being planned for the fall of 2017, which will serve as an opportunity for all partners and stakeholders to hear the progress that’s being made by the  Advisory Board and provide input for next steps.

Advisory Board Members

Amy Riedesel (Tanner Health System)
Bereket Beraki (State Office of Refugee Health)
Beth Stephens (Georgia Watch)
Christopher Ervin (Physician)
Joyce Essien (Physician)
Cindi Tillery (CHOA)
Debbie Okirie (Morehouse Choice ACO)
Earlie Rockette (Amerigroup Anthem)
Joy Thomas (Columbus State University)
Monica Nadan (Kennesaw State University)
Lisa Carhuff (State Office of Rural Health)
Olga Lucia Jimenez (American Cancer Society)
Rhonda Green (Horizon Community Solutions)
Thomasine Mungo (Mercy Care)
Bianca Barker (Oakhurst Medical Centers)
Shirley Borghi (Hispanic Health Coalition)


Unity Conference 2017: The Power of CHWs, CHRs, and Promotores- August 6-9, 2017 Dallas, TX

The Center for Sustainable Health Outreach (CSHO) at The University of Southern Mississippi, with support from Sanofi US, the Boston University Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health, Baylor Scott and White Health, KDH Research & Communication, MHP Salud, Community Resources LLC., and the Institute for Disability Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi will hold its 15th annual Unity Conference August 6-9, 2017 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.  Unity 2017 is a national conference designed for and about community health workers, community health representatives, and promotores.  The theme for this year’s conference is “The Collective Power of CHWs, CHRs and Promotores.”

Unity 2017 will address the roles community health workers play in creating access to care, reducing care costs, and promoting healthy and happy communities, from individual levels to meeting national goals and objectives.  Conference speakers will address content on state and national organizing, including strategies for successful advocacy; health and wellness, including oral health, behavioral health, and addressing disabilities; and the role of community health workers as change agents, including in communities and in systems. 

The conference will include plenary, breakout, poster, skill-building, and roundtable workshop sessions.  Community health workers are strongly encouraged to attend.  Unity 2017 is an opportunity for community health workers to share knowledge, information, and expertise with other community health workers, colleagues, and policy makers. For more information on the conference, please visit our website, learn more about the conference or other exciting training opportunities. For any questions about Unity 2017, contact Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson at (601) 266-6266 or

Please refer to the "Related Files" section for the conference brochure. 

CHW Statewide Forum- November 17, 2016 Atlanta, GA
The first CHW  Forum took place on November 17, 2016 at Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. Approximately 130 people were present representing health systems, community based organizations, academia, state and local government and other sectors. The Forum, which was facilitated by the Georgia Health Policy Center,  included presentations on CHW models used in other states; a presentation by Dr Jill Feldstein, Director of the Penn Center for Community Health Workers at the University of Pennsylvania, a discussion of proposed definitions for the term CHW in Georgia; information about the existing wide range of CHW programs, approaches, and policies in Georgia; baseline training needs for CHWs; and, networking opportunities. To find a summary of this event, please refer to the "Related Files" section.

Steering Team

The current Community Health Worker Steering Team is comprised of representatives from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), Kaiser Permanente, United Way of Atlanta, Morehouse School of Medicine, Grady Health System, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement.




Page last updated 06/14/2017