JOHNSTOWN – 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health (CPH), is honored to share that Leanna Bird, Project Manager, has been selected to be a member of the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) Policy Committee as a community health worker (CHW) Ally. The new Policy Committee members were announced at the first annual meeting of NACHW, held on August 27th. Ms. Bird is the representative for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

NACHW is a national professional organization whose mission is to unify the voices of community health workers and strengthen the profession’s capacity to promote healthy communities. Members include nine CHWs and six CHW Allies from across the United States.

The NACHW Policy Committee focuses on developing internal NACHW policies related to the CHW workforce and provides support, consultation, and education regarding CHW policy to statewide groups outside of the Association. This includes the CHW Policy Resource Center, the nation’s largest searchable collection of documents on policies regarding CHWs.

The CPH recently launched the Community Care HUB, a network of Care Coordination Agencies (CCAs) who hire and train community health workers (CHWs) to reach out to those at greatest risk to improve the health outcomes of Cambria and Somerset counties’ vulnerable populations. As a NACHW Policy Committee member, Ms. Bird will provide first-hand accounts of CHW experiences and advocate on behalf of CHWs working in not only Cambria and Somerset counties but across Pennsylvania. Ms. Bird recently completed her Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and also holds her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh.

Ms. Bird is also a member of the PA CHW Statewide Steering Group led by the PA Certification Board and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. More information about NACHW can be found here.