This morning Governor Pat Quinn signed Community Health Worker (CHW) Legislation, HB5412
, formally recognizing the vital role CHWs play in promoting access to culturally-competent, high quality healthcare in communities throughout Illinois.
Health & Medicine, along with other key stakeholders, including the Chicago CHW Local Network, the Governor’s office, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, helped draft and garner support for this important legislation, the first of its kind in Illinois. The bill, which was sponsored by State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and by Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria), adopts the American Public Health Association’s definition of a CHW and establishes an advisory board to provide recommendations and consider essential core competencies.
“Community health workers are trusted frontline public health professionals who have a close understanding of their communities’ needs,” Governor Quinn said at the signing. “This new law recognizes the vital role these professionals play in the health care system, and helps ensure the best possible delivery and quality of services in neighborhoods across our state.”
Health & Medicine is proud of our role in drafting and advocating for this legislation championing the work of this important healthcare workforce.
Read more: Board Member Steve Rothschild, MD, considers what's next for CHWs.