The 2017 Northeast Texas Community Health Worker (CHW) Coalition Conference was held on July 14th at TJC West. According to the official booklet, the CHW conference addresses “the role CHW Workers/Instructors play in creating access to care, reducing care costs, and promoting health and happy communities.” The Conference stressed “the importance of CHW(I)’s reducing health disparities; return on investment; and methods of overcoming barriers to CHW(I) program success.” Participants who attended the entire conference received six CEU (Continuing Education Units). “Presentations can be downloaded after the conference at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/y7brtht7 “
There were three main presentations. “The CHW and Public Health: The UT Health NE Experience,” was delivered by Jeffrey L. Levin, M.D. “Creating and Maintaining Health Workplace Environments,” was given by Terrence Ates, M.ED and Detective John Ragland. “CHW Self-Care—Focusing on You While Giving to the Community,” was presented by LaShonda Malrey-Horne, MPH.
The CHW of the Year was presented to the late Cynthia Keppard, the former director of the NE TX CHW Coalition. Several of her family members were in attendance.
There were three Breakout Sessions also—a choice of 18 sessions. First, I attended “Helping Clients Self Manage Chronic Disease,” by Marcus Wade, LMSW & CHWI. Then I went to “A Community Health Worker’s Guide to Texercise Classic,” by Jeanie Gallegly, MS & CHWI. The last breakout session for me was “Tobacco Danger,” by Lana Herriman, BS.
There were several organizations serving as vendors and sponsors. For example, I was able to pick up the Cigna Health Spring Provider Directory and Over-the-Counter Products Catalog in the lobby. Lunch was from Jason’s Subs; snacks were available too. Once again, the annual NE TX CHW Coalition Conference was a success that drew a huge crowd.
This morning, I read about the horrible forest fires in British Columbia from a long-time cyberspace friend. Importantly, she noted her surprise that the fires followed a period of floods and how it was almost as surprising as tragic. Therefore, I looked for American universities with Forest Fire research institutes. Sure enough, Colorado State and the University of California have such organization, so I messaged her about them.
Typically, my TV is glued to CNN, MSNBC, or C-SPAN while I research the Internet via Twitter & Facebook primarily. A doctor told us about the sad story of a young comedian who died of alcohol withdrawals. My attention was grabbed when the doctor said that the comedian’s dopamine levels dropped dangerously low by “drying out.” That reminded me of how getting off cocaine and speed are strikingly similar. Tyrosine is an amino acid that replaces the neurotransmitter, dopamine, when one of those has been decreased by one of the big three drugs! So I called my darling G.P. M.D. with the news, and I told her secretary all about the amino acid to neurotransmitter connection.
Later, I went to a meeting about local city transit issues and how to increase ridership. I suggested to the VP of Tyler Transit that we emphasize taking the bus for shopping excursions. After all, if you have a low-paying job, you’ll settle for getting to work too early and leaving rather late because you don’t have a choice. Furthermore, a college student can always go to the library, cafeteria, or a prof’s office while (s)he waits on the bus.
But how do we get the middle-class/car owner to take the bus? Shopping trips? Maybe on a Saturday? How about “Beer and Bus” instead of “Drink and Drive”? I’ve organized bus trips with lunch for all of our five bus lines for the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) Transportation Committee. We went to both malls and two grocery stores—as well as Neighborhood Services next to a top store.
Anyway,today was a successful day for a disabled, retired teacher. Plus, I successfully walked home from downtown—roughly 1.5 miles with a stop at Family Dollar. Furthermore, I noticed that a street sign at the corner of S. Beckham & E. Front had been repaired after a storm, for I’d called City information about it a couple of days ago.