Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

May 21, 2019

Senator Anwar Joins Senate Passage To Create Certification Program For Community Health Workers

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the Senate’s passage of legislation that would create a certification program for community health workers. Starting in 2020, this program will ensure public health workers who organize access between communities and healthcare and social services are certified to perform that role adequately.

“I am excited at the passage of the bill that will create a certification program for community health workers, or CHWs,” said Sen. Anwar. “The CHWs are public health outreach professionals from the community who have a deeper understanding of a community’s experience, language, culture, and socioeconomic needs, who can serve as liaisons between community members and health care and social service providers and can help with care coordination of the communities. They will help strengthen the communities overall health, especially the underserved segments in our State.”

Senate Bill No. 859, “An Act Concerning Community Health Workers,” would create a certification program for public health professionals who work to support their communities through connecting individuals with healthcare and social services and educating individuals on health knowledge and self-protection. The Department of Public Health would be charged with creating a certification program by the start of 2020, though details on education level, training or fee requirements are not certified in the bill.

The bill previously passed the Public Health and Appropriations Committees and received support in public testimony from dozens of professionals as well as the Office of Health Strategy, Department of Public Health, Connecticut Hospital Association, Connecticut Nurses Association, Connecticut Public Health Association and the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut. Supporters mentioned benefits from the bill that range from creating a framework that could lead to a more sustainable model of funding for community health workers in the future to improving health outcomes for Connecticut residents.