May 27, 2014—New Mexico Legislature Passes Community Health Workers Act

United States-Mexico Border Health Commission

May 27, 2014—New Mexico Legislature Passes Community Health Workers Act

The U.S.-México Border Health Commission wishes to share the following announcement:

During the 2014 Legislative Session, New Mexico legislators passed the Community Health Workers Act, thus enabling the New Mexico Department of Health to offer voluntary certification for community health workers (CHWs) in the state. Governor Susana Martinez chose CHW training and certification among her priority initiatives, recognizing the value and contributions of this critical workforce toward meeting the health needs of New Mexico’s rural and underserved populations.

Next Steps

    • The Department is working on the necessary steps to promulgate rules and regulations that will guide the bill’s implementation, to include the launch of a program that will offer standardized core competency trainings and endorse specialty trainings for specific health topic areas.
    • A CHW generalist certification will be offered that can be augmented with certification for a particular specialty area(s). Certification through grandfathering will be available for a specified period. While CHW certification will be a key activity, the overall goal is to support the CHW profession and workforce.
    • Training, technical assistance, and promotion of career development will be offered to all CHWs, regardless of certification status. Venues for stable funding of CHW services, including but not limited to Medicaid reimbursement, are being explored.
  • A CHW webpage is in progress and will provide updates on the initiative’s progress.

This announcement may be of interest to border health partners and others in the U.S.-México border region.

For More Information

—Contact Christina Carrillo by phone at (505) 222-8671 or email her at          christina.carrillo@state.nm.us.

—To view Senate Bill 58: Community Health Workers Actclick here.

 

For more information on the activities of the United States-México Border Health Commission, please visit our websiteUnited States-Mexico Border Health Commission