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Letter from KYACHW President

Letter from 24-25   President

Michaela Amburgey


Good afternoon and happy New Year KYACHW members!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and share some information about the upcoming year for KYACHW. My name is Michaela Amburgey and I am the new KYACHW President for 2024 and 2025. I have been involved in community health work since 2019 when I started with Kentucky Homeplace as a Community Health Worker in my hometown of Knott County. I currently work as a rural project manager for Kentucky Homeplace, located in Hazard in Perry County. I have been involved with KYACHW since 2019 and have served on several different committees and the KYACHW Board as well. I am very excited for what the new year holds for KYACHW and for a chance to get to meet those of you I do not yet know. Should you ever need anything concerning KYACHW or if you need to reach out about anything Community Health Worker-related please feel free to contact me at any time! 

Here are some dates to mark on your calendar for the upcoming year! 

·       March 21st, 2024- KYACHW 1st Quarter Meeting- Location: TBD

·       June 20th, 2024 – KYACHW 2nd Quarter Meeting- Location: TBD

·       September 19th & 20th – 9th Annual KYACHW Conference/3rd Quarter Meeting – Location: Embassy Suites/UK Coldstream, Lexington, KY 

·       November 7th, 2024 – 4th Quarter Meeting- Location: TBD 

Please remember that your membership dues are due as of 01/01/24 if you joined before October 2023. There is a 60-day grace period for payment before your membership is terminated, but please submit your applications as soon as possible. Going forward, membership will run from January 1st -December 31st, regardless of when you join as a member, to make the process easier on our volunteer Membership committee who tracks all membership and payment details. I have attached a 2024 KYACHW Membership application to this email. Individual and Community memberships have increased by $5 this year to help offset the cost of the annual conference. Please remember that your organization is welcome to purchase the organizational membership, which contains 10 slots at a discounted rate, even if all of the slots are not currently filled. Once they are filled, all you will need to do is let Samantha Bowman know the slot has been filled and provide the individual’s contact information. Memberships are non-transferable once designated for the calendar year. If you have questions about your membership, please contact Samantha Bowman during normal working hours at

As always, we would love for you to become involved with a committee if you are not already. The committees you can volunteer to join, as well as their chairpersons, are listed below. If you would like to join the committee please reach out to the committee chair or I can help make the connection.

Membership Committee

Review membership dues, organize outreach to improve membership.

Committee Chair: Samantha Bowman


Nominating Committee

Collect nominations for open offices and submit to Executive Committee for Elections. 

Committee Chair: Amanda Goolman


Conference Planning Committee

Plan and execute annual conference, also responsible for promoting the conference. 

Committee Chair: Brooke Perkins


Professional Development/Training Committee

Responsible for finding and implementing trainings and Professional Development opportunities for CHWs.

Committee Chair: Kendall Wills


Certification/Credentialing Committee

*Undergoing reassignment into Networking Committee 

If you wish to join the Networking Committee, please contact Angela McGuire at:

Outreach and Social Media Marketing

To design, update and maintain a KYACHW website and be held responsible for event and outreach coordination. 

Committee Chair: Alicia Bowman


Thank you for being a member of KYACHW and for all of the work you do for your clients and communities. I hope you have a wonderful 2024 and hope to see you all soon! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Michaela Amburgey, CCHW

KYACHW President

Letter from Previous

Angela McGuire

January 03, 2024

KYACHW Members,

Good Morning, I trust that each and everyone of you enjoyed the Holiday break and got to enjoy your family and friends. I know I sure cherished each moment I got to spend with mine. It’s a new year with new leaders in the Association, with saying this, I would like to personally welcome Michaela Amburgey as elected KYACHW President for the years 2024 and 2025. She is eager and excited to get this year started with some outstanding networking, learning and training opportunities for all CHW’s throughout Kentucky. She will be working diligently with each committee and communicating with members throughout her term.

The Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers has expanded in so many different areas and we want to continue to build on our known foundation and purpose which is to unify, promote and sustain the profession of CHW’s in KY, spreading knowledge and continually advocate for the recognition of CHW’s and our communities.

Welcome to all the old and new board members: Myself as acting Past President and President Elect for 2026-2028 and also Chair of By Laws, Shirley Prater as Treasurer, Kathy Hamilton as Secretary, Committee Chairs: Samantha Bowman Membership, Alicia Bowman Social Media and Marketing, Brooke Perkins Conference Planning, Kendall Wills Professional Development/Training and Amanda Goolman Nominations. We have had really great participation and communication through out the years and by the looks of these new board members we shall continue to do the same in the future. Please feel free to reach out to these members mentioned above for questions or concerns that you or your organization may have.

Attached as well are the newest bylaws, please note that there has been a membership increase starting January 01, 2024. This is the first increase in 8 years and we are trying to keep it within reach for all to be able to participate. If you have not paid for your 2024 dues the rates for a CHW has raised from $20.00 to $25.00 and for non CHW’s it has changed from $25.00 to $30.00. All other types of membership have remained the same as before.

New brochures are about to be ordered with all of the new committee chair updates, conference sponsorship levels and price changes mentioned above.

Thank you to everyone for making my Presidency one to be proud of and enjoyable. I have gained so many life long friendships through KYACHW and it has been a pleasure serving as your President the last 2 years. Please continue to sponsor, advocate and be active with your membership, should you ever want to serve on a committee, please just let me know. Again, welcome aboard President Michaela Amburgey and best wishes for a stress-free and productive year. We are all in the same KYACHW (boat)! 2024’s theme for our KYACHW 9th Annual Conference.


Angela McGuire, CCHW

Past President

Past Board Members

Kala Gilliam

Past President

Social Media/Marketing

Tracey Sparks

Conference Planning 


Laura Erich




April 27, 2017 by: Melissa PatrickR

Community Health Workers Aren’t Medically Trained but Help Rural People Manage their Health Care and Their Conditions

“CHWs aren’t trained medically, but, are trained as patient advocates who come from the communities they serve’ said Keisha Cornett..

Kentucky Health News as health advocates at the April 24 Kentucky Voices for Health annual meeting discussed how to reduce health disparities and assure health equity in the state, a model of integrated care that includes community health workers resonated as a possible solution. ”I really believe in the community health worker model,” said Keisha Cornett, health education coordinator for the Montgomery County Health Department in Mount Sterling. She added later, “Everything that we’ve talked about, about health equity, community health workers can play a very important role in. The goal is to empower individuals to take an active role in their health care, their health and also in their environment.” CHWs aren’t trained medically, but, are trained as patient advocates who come from the communities they serve. They help their clients coordinate care, provide access to medical, social and environmental services, work to improve health literacy and deliver education on prevention and disease self-management. Cornett noted that patients will often tell their CHW things they would never tell their doctor, such as not having adequate transportation to get to the pharmacy or not having enough money to buy their medications. CHWs work to understand what their clients need on an individual level and then meet them where they are, she said. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says Kentucky had 710 CHWs in May 2016 with an annual average wage of $38,290. Cornett said some providers have voiced concerns about CHWs providing health education. But she said it’s important to allow CHWs to work at the top of their skill set, adding, “We are just encouragers” who “never go out of the scope of what we can do.” Montgomery County’s CHW Program called “The Bridge” (“El Puente” for Latino clients) is funded by a federal Health Resources & Services Administration grant and focuses on chronic disease self-management and education. It largely serves clients whose incomes are less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Cornett explained that CHWs connect people to services that help improve their health, like the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, which teaches diabetes self-management, or the Kentucky CARE Collaborative, a heart-disease and stroke-prevention program with a focus on high blood pressure. Cornett pointed to an ongoing survey that shows clients have reduced emergency room visits; are more likely to have a medical home; have better medication adherence and have shown a drop in their A1C levels, a test for blood sugar. She said the local diabetes self-management education class recently increased from four participants to 12, and 11 of the participants were from the CHW program. The CHWs have also created a diabetes support group, which they will lead for a month before turning it over to the members. CHWs recently formed the Community Health Worker Association, which is working with the CHW Workgroup of the state Department for Public Health to standardize training across the state. Cornett said they are getting close to having the certification and curriculum approved. “CHWs are an evidence-based model to address the health care concerns that we have . . . and really [gets] people involved in their own health care,” she said.

HB 525

Signed on April 7, 2022

August 2nd, 2023 By Alicia Whatley

Expanding the Impact of Kentucky’s Community Health Workers

Each year in Kentucky, July marks the implementation of legislation passed in the previous legislative session. This month, along with other new laws taking effect, Kentucky has seen the implementation of   House Bill 525 from 2022, which designated services offered by Certified Community Health Workers to be Medicaid eligible in Kentucky. Following the 2022 legislative session, the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) filed a state plan amendment and began work to create billing codes and processes to support the work of community health workers (CHWs) within Kentucky Medicaid, taking effect July 1, 2023.  

As defined by the   American Public Health Association, a community health worker is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a link between health and social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A community health worker also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. 

Community Health Workers have existed in Kentucky for over 25 years and play a critical role in the delivery of health and social services in their communities. In 2016, the   Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers (KYACHW) was formed to advocate and promote the profession of CHWs in the Commonwealth.  

Today, there are more than 200 certified CHWs in the state providing health education and coaching, making connections to needed resources, assisting patients in their navigation of the healthcare system, and ensuring culturally appropriate care. CHWs often reach their patients outside of a traditional care setting by providing care in homes, schools, and community locations such as health departments. Community health workers are key care team members addressing social determinants of health, such as housing, food security, and health coverage, supporting the overall health and wellbeing of their patients.  

Learn more about CHW certification,   Medicaid eligible services, and the important role CHWs play in your community from the   Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers

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