State public health leaders and lawmakers want to formalize the role of the community health worker. A bill creates an advisory committee to the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop a certification process for community health workers. Leticia Boughton of the Chicago Community Health Workers Network says there are perhaps 150 or more job titles under the umbrella of “community health worker” – from helping women with childbirth to working to eradicate food deserts.
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“As we go into managed care,” said sponsoring State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), “only people who are part of that medical team will really be able to continue to contribute.” HB 5412 has passed the House Human Services Committee.