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Ready, Set, Go! Catalyzing CHW Programs for Health Care Orgs


Self Paced
Expires: October 5, 2024

The committee’s discussions highlighted three critical areas for successful CHW programs.

About this Self Paced Series

Ready, Set, Go! Catalyzing Community Health Worker Programs for Health Care Organizations

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the National Urban League collaborated on a three-part webinar series to emphasize the significance of community health workers (CHW) and their effective integration into health care organizations. The series tackles common barriers to development of CHW programs, and presents potential solutions.

To ensure comprehensive coverage, NCQA and the National Urban League held multiple meetings with a diverse steering committee of CHWs, community partners, patients, health care organizations and other stakeholders. The committee’s discussions highlighted three critical areas for successful CHW programs: framing, implementation and sustainability.

The overarching goal is to equip health care organizations with best practices for developing CHW programs, and educating them on the roles, responsibilities and needs of CHWs—empowering CHWs for career success.

Overview of Each Segment:

Introduction to Catalyzing Community Health Worker Programs for Health Care Organizations

Speaker: Bryan O. Buckley, DrPH, MPH, MBA, Director for Health Equity Initiatives, NCQA

This segment introduces the Providing Evidence for Health System Equity Efforts project and this webinar series. It describes the project’s purpose and activities, the use of existing research and development and work of the steering committee. It also provides background and context for subsequent videos, whose content was derived from steering committee meetings.


Part I - CHW Programs: Framing—Getting Your Organization Ready for a CHW Program


•            Lillian Mehran, PhD, MPH, CHES, Health Equity Scholar in Residence, National Urban League

•            Tracy Parris-Benjamin, LMSW, FHELA, Senior Director, Health Equity and Community Health, Horizon New Jersey Health

•            Karri Albanese, Health Care Analyst, NCQA

This segment describes factors an organization should consider, and steps it should take, before launching a CHW program. The video covers assessing organizational readiness; organizational cultural shifts; and education and outreach for staff and patient communities. It also explores a real-world case study, to give context to the information.


Part II - CHW Programs: Implementation—Launching Your Organization’s CHW Program


•            Lillian Mehran, PhD, MPH, CHES, Health Equity Scholar in Residence, National Urban League

•            Breanna Burke, Community Health Worker, Healing Hands Health Center

•            Karri Albanese, Health Care Analyst, NCQA

This segment describes how to successfully implement a CHW program: defining and refining roles and responsibilities, developing necessary procedures and protocols, ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place and planning for the program to continue. The video also includes a real-world case demonstrating how a CHW program can be successfully implemented.


Part III - CHW Programs: Sustainability—Evaluating and Sustaining Your Organization’s CHW Program


•            Lillian Mehran, PhD, MPH, CHES, Health Equity Scholar in Residence, National Urban League

•            Martha Chavis, CEO/President, Camden Area Health Education Center

•            Karri Albanese, Health Care Analyst, NCQA

This segment offers recommendations for evaluating and sustaining a CHW program. Topics include evaluation, funding and advocacy, in addition to a real-world case of how an organization has sustained its CHW program.


Closing to Catalyzing Community Health Worker Programs for Health Care Organizations

Speaker: Lydia A. Isaac, PhD MSc, Vice President, Health Equity and Policy, National Urban League

This segment summarizes the three components of a successful CHW program (framing, implementation, sustainability), and weaves together the salient factors presented in the series, illustrating the interconnected nature of the components that lead to a sustainable CHW program.

This series was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (EADI #24241).

What You Will Learn

  • Recognize common barriers to developing and sustaining CHW programs in health care organizations and identify potential solutions for overcoming these barriers.
  • Become familiar with the essential components of a successful CHW program—framing, implementation, sustainability—and learn how to address each component effectively for integrating CHWs into health care organizations.

Who Should Attend

  • Health Plans
  • Health Systems 
  • Hospitals
  • Accountable Care Orgs
  • Providers
  • Managed Behavioral Healthcare Orgs 
  • Population Health Orgs
  • Wellness Orgs
  • Leveragers in the Federal Government, States and Employers 


Bryan O. Buckley, DrPH, MPH, MBA
Director for Health Equity Initiatives
National Committee for Quality Assurance

Bryan O. Buckley, DrPH, MPH, MBA, is a health equity-focused and systems-oriented leader in health delivery system redesign, performance improvement, and change management. Currently, Dr. Buckley is the Director for Health Equity Initiatives at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), where he supports NCQA’s Health Equity strategy across multiple departments to better integrate health equity concepts into existing programs and projects. Before NCQA, Dr. Buckley was a Research Fellow with Medstar Health’s Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS), where he led and supported healthcare delivery research, education, and consulting related to community health, patient safety, and quality. Dr. Buckley serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he teaches, coaches, supports, and supervises graduate students at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Graduate Education.

Dr. Buckley holds a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, focused on management, strategy, leadership, and organizational change. In addition to his DrPH, he holds an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Quantic School of Business and Technology; Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in Microbiology from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Infectious Diseases and Administration from Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. As a member of the American Public Health Association, he serves as an Executive Board Member & Development Committee Chair. Locally he serves as a Board Member of the American Heart Association (AHA) Greater Washington Region and Food & Friends.

Lydia A. Isaac, PhD, MSc
Vice President, Health Equity and Policy 
National Urban League

Lydia Isaac is the Vice President for Health Equity and Policy at the National Urban League. Dr. Isaac has a faculty appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. She most recently served as an Associate Research Professor and Executive Director of the RWJF funded Health Policy Research Scholars Program (HPRS) program at George Washington University where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations and curriculum development for the program. Previously, she was the Director of Policy and Health Systems Analysis in the Office of Policy, Planning and Strategic Data in the First Deputy Commissioner’s office at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Dr. Isaac has worked in local and state government throughout her career and in academia where she has taught classes on community health assessment and the social disparities in health. She has a bachelors’ degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, a Master of Science degree in Health and Social behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health and a doctorate in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Isaac’s research interests include advancing Health Equity through translating research into policy and practice, investigating the mechanisms that lead to racial and ethnic health disparities, the social determinants of health and the neighborhood environment and its role in health promotion.

Lillian Mehran, PhD, MPH, CHES
Health Equity Scholar in Residence
National Urban League

Lillian Mehran, PhD, MPH, CHES, serves as the Health Equity Scholar in Residence at the National Urban League (NUL). There, she supports the NUL movement through programs, advocacy, and research to address social determinants of health impacting African American and underserved communities. Dr. Mehran has more than 15 years of experience in public health and health policy, with a focus on health equity and community health education. She received a PhD in Community Health and Health Policy from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy; a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from CUNY Hunter College; and a BA in Psychology and Women’s/Gender Studies from the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Martha Chavis
Camden Area Health Education Center

Ms. Chavis has over 48 years work experience with nonprofit organizations providing health education, employment and social services. As Camden AHEC’s CEO and Workforce Director of its Community Health Worker Institute (CHWI), Ms. Chavis has worked to increase the recognition and respect for CHWs, establish a meaningful CHW labor market and provide skills standards and accessible CHW training resources. In 2014, she completed the Women’s Health Leadership Institute (WHLI) CHW trainer workshops. As a master trainer for WHLI, Ms. Chavis trains CHWs to utilize their leadership skills in developing and implementing community action programs in their local areas. Ms. Chavis is currently the Chair of the Outreach, Recruitment and Retention (ORR) Committee of the NJDOH’s – Division of Family Services, Collette Lamothe Galette-Community Health Worker Institute (CLG-CHWI). Ms. Chavis is a passionate proponent for ‘a healthier quality of life’ which she believes -- everyone is deserving.

Brea Burke
Founding Community Health Worker
Healing Hands Health Center

As the daughter of a pastor, Brea Burke’s whole life has been about serving others.  Brea is the founding Community Health Worker (CHW) at Healing Hands Health Center, a charitable health clinic for the uninsured in Bristol, Tennessee, having served since 2019.  Brea works on Social Determinants of Health, getting medical and dental patients connected to resources so they can live their happiest and healthiest lives possible.  Before coming to Healing Hands, she was part of a pilot program to bring CHW’s to Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. 

Brea’s passion is to advocate for CHW’s across the United States.  She is a much sought-after speaker for webinars, conferences and was invited to speak at the White House.  Brea is the founder of the CHW United Group of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, serves on the CHW Councils of both Tennessee and Virginia and is active with the policy council CHAMPP, Community Health Worker Advocating for Movement in Policies and Procedures.

Brea’s greatest joys in life are her husband and their 5 children.  She is very passionate about foster care and dreams of founding a program for whole family solutions to protect the children while educating their parents on how to create a successful family environment.

Tracy Parris-Benjamin, LMSW, FHELA
Senior Director, Health Equity and Community Health
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Tracy Parris-Benjamin is a master’s-level licensed Social Worker, integrator, and equity champion, who works to sustain support for advancing diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusion, and development. Ms. Parris-Benjamin holds a distinguished record of health care innovation and transformation. With the primary goal of achieving equitable health for all, Ms. Parris-Benjamin works with Horizon’s extensive value-based network to lead the development of innovative health programs targeted toward marginalized populations. As the current Senior Director of Health Equity and Community Health at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, she translates executive strategy into tactical implementation, for a broad variety of community health initiatives and care models. Ms. Parris-Benjamin is responsible for leading payer/provider integration work and addressing social determinants of health. She also works with provider systems that are positioning themselves toward assuming global risk.

Ms. Parris-Benjamin’s experience demonstrates her work as an advocate for community-based programs and other healthcare initiatives. She leads several workgroups and discussions around increased awareness and stigma reduction of substance use disorders and has championed programs for HIV-positive pregnant teens and their families, survivors of domestic violence, individual and group counseling, parenting workshops to reunite families, and care coordination for underserved and chronically ill persons. She promotes the need for increased cognizance on the impact of health disparities and inequities in healthcare, for underserved populations and persons of color.  

 In 2019, Ms. Parris-Benjamin received distinguished honors from Diversity MBA as one of the Top leaders under 50 and was featured in the 2020 inaugural issue of the top 100 Women of Influence. She has led the development and implementation of Peer-Recovery models and served as a key speaker for the Partnership for a Drug Free NJ’s ‘Knock Opioid Out of New Jersey’ Initiative. She is a fellow of the New Jersey Healthcare Executives Leadership Academy and was voted into Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ 85th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Ms. Parris-Benjamin was featured on WBGO radio, where she led a discussion on trauma informed care and has often served as a panelist for discussions related to impending social determinants of health. She was featured on NJ Spotlight where she raised awareness on the importance of community engagement to mobilize health education, specifically around COVID-19 and access to resources in high-risk communities. 

 Ms. Parris-Benjamin is recognized, by her colleagues, as a strong leader and role model. She has engaged in several formal and informal mentor relationships. She is passionate about helping others and bringing awareness to topics and challenges that affect the lives of many.  Ms. Parris-Benjamin currently serves on the boards for the Northern NJ Region American Heart Association and the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition. In her role as President of the Northern NJ Region Board of the American Heart Association and Chair for the Go Red for Women 2021-2022. She is responsible for raising awareness on the importance of Heart and Stroke health through various speaking engagements, fundraising and developing innovative collaborations to expand treatments opportunities, research and prevention with a keen interest in vulnerable communities.  She is also an active member of Horizon’s Diversity Counsel where she leads efforts to raise awareness of racial injustices and systemic structures that continue to promote healthcare disparities and racial inequities.

 Through her work, Ms. Parris-Benjamin has witnessed the importance and value of investing in a community and devotes time to volunteering. She has supported many projects, such as community garden restorations, fundraising to support homeless teens, women’s empowerment seminars and other activities in conjunction with local churches and community board organizations, to name a few.

 When she is not tackling social issues within healthcare, Ms. Parris-Benjamin enjoys spending time with her family.  She is a cherished wife, and mother of two school-aged children.  She is also an entrepreneur and proud business owner of a children’s entertainment venture that focuses on developing confidence in children and young adults.

 Ms. Parris-Benjamin holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Social Work from St. John’s University and a master’s in social work from Fordham University.

Karri Albanese, BA
Health Care Analyst
National Committee of Quality Assurance

Karri Albanese (She/Her) is a Health Care Analyst at NCQA, responsible for project management, stakeholder coordination, targeted literature review, and environmental scans. She has extensive experience in project management and coordination, particularly in the areas of health equity and social determinants of health. Karri oversees multiple projects on a day-to-day basis, managing a diverse portfolio that includes health measurement in cancer and diabetes, internal project operations, and community health workers. Prior to joining NCQA, Karri served as a project analyst at the National Quality Forum, where she supported and managed complex projects related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, surgery, and common formats. She has also supported the development of advisory panels and reports.

Karri earned her BA from Concordia College Bronxville-NY.


imageIn support of improving patient care, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), to provide Interprofessional Continuing Education for the healthcare team.

This educational activity is approved for 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, ANA CNE, and ASWB contact hours.

This live webinar grants 2.0 other Continuing Education Unit (CEU) points for PCMH Certified Content Experts.  

* Please note – You must attend the entire program to be eligible for total number of contact hours.


The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) endorses the Standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education which specify that sponsors of continuing medical education activities and presenters at and planners for these activities disclose any relevant financial relationships either party might have with commercial companies whose products or services are discussed in educational presentations.

For sponsors, relevant financial relationships include large research grants, institutional agreements for joint initiatives, substantial gifts, or other relationships that benefit the institution.  For presenters or planning committee members, relevant financial relationships include the receipt of research grants from a commercial company, consultancies, honoraria, travel, or other benefits, or having a self-managed equity interest in a company; or having an immediate family member or partner with such a relationship.

Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone bias in any presentation but is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.

Relevant financial relationships exist with the following companies/organizations:

Bryan O. Buckley: None
Lydia A. Isaac: None
Lillian Mehran: None
Martha Chavis: None
Brea Burke: None
Tracy Parris-Benjamin: None
Karri Albanese: None

Additional Planning Committee Member:
Crissy Crittenden: None

This program was developed in part by NCQA staff.

This program received no commercial support.

Here is the course outline:

1. Resources

2. Recordings

3. Evaluation

4. Attestation


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Attendance
CCE Other Certificate
Nursing Certificate
Physician Certificate
Social Worker Certificate
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