5 Things in Arizona: Voluntary CHW Certification, Nursing Workforce Bill, "Talk Heals" Campaign - State of Reform

5 Things in Arizona: Voluntary CHW Certification, Nursing Workforce Bill, “Talk Heals” Campaign – State of Reform

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday!

This month’s edition of “5 Things We’re Watching” in Arizona health policy features information on the new certification process for community health workers, the expected positive impacts of a bill recently passed to support the state’s nursing workforce and an outline of ADHS “Talk Heals” to deter substance use among Arizona youth.

Thanks for reading!

Eli Kirshbaum
State of reform

1. Community health workers can now pursue voluntary certification in Arizona

Community health workers in Arizona can now obtain professional certification through the new ADHS Community Health Worker Licensing System online portal. This comes after ADHS finalized its final rules for voluntary certification of community health workers a few weeks ago.

Professional certification is an important step in strengthening the integrity of CHWs in Arizona’s healthcare landscape, according to Will Humble of AzPHA. “It took several years to build the statutory and administrative pathway to facilitate the certification of community health workers – and we are finally there,” he said on his blog. “The certification of community health workers contributes to greater professionalization and sustainability of the workforce and can help facilitate reimbursement for the services they provide.”

2. A nurse leader explains how the recently passed nursing workforce bill will make a difference

Arizona passed HB 2691 earlier this year in an effort to provide comprehensive support for its struggling nursing workforce. The Arizona Nurses Association – a key supporter of the bill in the Legislative Assembly – told State of Reform that what will make this bill so impactful is that it contains programs that intervene at every stage of the nursing pipeline.

Among the bill’s programs is the Arizona Nurse Education Pilot Program, which expands pre-licensing training and preceptorship capacity to better support newly graduated nurses. “Our political strategy is dual-focused on nurses and patients, so we are taking a comprehensive approach to making Arizona a great place for students to become nurses, for new nurses to become expert nurses, and for all Arizonans know that when they need us, they will have a strong nurse to care for them,” Ross said.

3. What They’re Looking At: Ross Goldberg, Arizona Medical Association

This edition of “What They’re Watching” features remarks by former Arizona Medical Association President Ross Goldberg, MD, on some recent policy work the organization has been involved in, as well as what he would like to see Arizona’s health sector achieve. forward.

He cited ArMA’s work to pass Arizona’s telemedicine bill in 2021 and a physician wellness bill earlier this year as recent successes. “We have to think outside the box, because I think we’ve been going in circles for a while. Some things worked, so we gave up, but could we do better? Could we be more efficient? »

4. AHCCCS launches messaging campaign to discourage young people from using substances

AHCCCS recently launched its “Talk Heals” program, a public awareness campaign focused on reducing substance abuse among Arizona youth. The campaign uses youth-friendly messaging to encourage young people to talk about their mental health with trusted people in their lives. It uses television, outdoor and online advertisements to encourage young people to opt for coping strategies and self-care over substance use.

AHCCCS told State of Reform that the campaign was created to address rising levels of social isolation, loss of family members and pandemic-induced mental health issues that are driving them to resort to substance addiction. It is funded by the SAMHSA Global Grant for Substance Abuse and will run until March 14, 2023.

5. Infant mortality increased in 2021

This year’s ADHS Infant Mortality Review Program report finds that Arizona’s infant mortality rate increased 4.7% in 2021. The majority of deaths among children aged 0 to 17 years were due to prematurity, followed by congenital anomalies and road accidents. The highest number of deaths were among Hispanic children, followed by white children, black children and Native American children. However, despite making up only 6% and 5% of the state’s population, black and Native American children accounted for 15% and 7% of child deaths in the state, respectively.

The report also showed that Arizona’s death rate from child abuse/neglect increased 36.2% from 2020, representing 15% of all child deaths in 2021. Black children and Native Americans were also disproportionately affected by deaths from abuse/neglect. ADHS offers recommendations for the state to prevent child deaths, including raising awareness of the signs of child abuse and encouraging families to remove guns from homes.

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