While there is no handbook to immediately redress the 400 years of oppression influencing the health of our communities as a whole and communities of color specifically, this [collaborative] model provides an avenue for public health advocacy for health departments of any size to change systems to protect the health and improve the lives of all of its residents.
Envision a future with a more robust public health system where community health workers are highly valued and sufficiently supported. It’s possible! This is already happening in some communities. However, significantly more work is needed to ensure these essential workers are more widely available and that the CHW workforce is bolstered well into the 21st Century.
Legislative oversight of higher education may further weaken the public health workforce pipeline and limit the profession’s ability to serve communities.
By promoting a better understanding of microaggressions, bias, and diversity, public health practitioners can create more equitable workplaces and ultimately improve the health outcomes of the communities they serve.