May 2024 Newsletter

A Message From the MECHWI Advisory Committee

Dear Maine CHWs and Allies, 

A big thank you to everyone who attended the 2024 CHW Summit and for those of you that could not, we look forward to having you join us next year! Our plan is to grow each year and offer you more resources and learning opportunities. Please continue to read below about the highlights and watch for photos of the event on our website.

-MECHW Initiative Advisory Committee

Strategic Plan Updates

The committees are deep in the weeds of the work- Join us!

Interested participants that signed up for a committee have receive an email with meeting details and will start the important work on behalf of the Initiative.

Workforce Development Committee (WDC)

WDC is currently reviewing certification recommendations from the initiative, developing a tool kit and resource guide for CHWs, please see the website as it is being built.

Policy/Advocacy Committee (PAC)

The PAC is working on an action plan to advance its strategic objectives. Members are reviewing available information from Maine and other states on infrastructure that supports and sustains the CHW profession. Members are interested in planning a listening session with members to gather additional information about their policy priorities in June.  Anyone that is interested in joining the PAC should contact Ben Hummel (

Outreach/Communications Committee (OCC)

There have been some adjustments with the OCC and advisory leadership. This group will be working on messaging for awareness week.

If you are interested in joining a committee, email Bridgette Gemelli, Capacity Building Coordinator at

Stay Connected/Announcements


CHW Annual Summit was such a success!


The Maine Community Health Worker Initiative hosting their Second Annual Summit at the Civic Center in Augusta on April 23rd. The Maine Community Health Worker Initiative is a statewide network, which seeks to support, promote, and advocate for the Community Health Worker (CHW) profession.

170 people attended, 20 organizations exhibited and over 30 presenters.

Three very powerful guest speakers took the stage and shared some very useful information and skills.

Chanel 6 news was there to cover the event, please view the video and take time to read the article.

See Photos

Guest Speakers

Lisa Renee Holderby Fox

Lisa Renee is an established leader and a proud member of the community health worker (CHW) workforce for over 30 years. She’s spent the past 25 years working to ensure CHWs are valued and respected members of the public health workforce. 

Dr. Puthiery Va

Dr. Puthiery Va was appointed as Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) in August 2023.

Auror Grant Wingate

Aurora works at the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) as their Member and Partner Engagement Manager. In October of 2020, Aurora had the honor of joining NACHW as one of the first three staff members.

Heather Washburn

Heather is a Nationally Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, and provides leadership trainings, critical incident responses, group and direct service to individuals, couples and families.


CHW of the Year!

Alison Prior

Alison exemplifies the very essence of dedication, compassion, and innovation in her role as a Community Health Worker (CHW). With over two decades of personal and professional experience, Alison has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her patients, the community, and the pursuit of equitable healthcare. Alison embodies ownership in her work, approaching every challenge with determination and resilience.

Ally of the Year!

Mardochee Mbongi

Mardochee has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving Immigrants community with compassion, empathy, and professionalism. Mardochee's dedication to empowering community members, advocating for their health needs, and bridging gaps in access to healthcare services, more likely to connecting them to resource relevant to the social determinants of health. He exemplifies the core values of a Community Health Worker

Supervisor of the Year

Betty St.Haliare

Betty is the epitome of what a supervisor should be. No matter how many projects and tasks she has going on, she always makes sure to make time for us. She is supportive of us as CHW's: encouraging us to take care of ourselves regularly, listening to our concerns, and supporting us when we are feeling overwhelmed or unsure. Betty is not just a CHW Supervisor, but she is a leader and a role model, for our team and for the community.

2024 CHW Awareness Week

This year's 2024 Awareness Week is Aug. 26-30!

We will have many virtual activities during the week to win some prizes as well as the Maine State Capitol Awareness Day Event on Aug 27th from 10-3pm in the Hall of Flags.



The updated recommendation is biennial screening mammography for women aged 40 to 74 years.

Read more here

CHW Peer Support Group

The CHW Peer Support Group Meets Monthly!

Virtual meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of each month at 12:00pm.

The next group meeting is May 16th at 12:00- 1:30

1-1:30pm will be a guest speaker.

Heather Washburn- Strengthen ME

This is a peer group for CHWs ONLY, to:

  • Provide Support to each other.
  • Address Barriers
  • Share Resources
  • Discuss Concerns


MECHWI Monthly Meeting

MECHWI meets monthly. We share strategic updates, participants can network with other CHWs, and learn from community programs and resources. All are welcome!

Next Monthly Meeting: MAY 28th, 1:30 to 3pm

Guest Speakers-

Dr. VA- Maine CDC,

National Public Health Awareness Week

Betty St. Hilaire- MaineGeneral

Mental Health and First Aid

You must register for this meeting monthly at

Self-Care Tip

30 Minute Wellness Workshop

With Strengthen ME



Tues 5/21/24             1:00 – 1:30p

zoom link

What is self-care? Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical, health, and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact. 

Contact Us

Bridgette Gemelli

CHW Capacity Building Program Coordinator

Axels Samuntu

CHW Outreach & Training Program Coordinator

For more information, contact us at:

Visit Our Website