Community Health Worker Panel: Engaging for Oral Health
Moderator: Tiffany Muessig
Presented by LeReecia Carter, Suzanne Smith, Lacey Martens, and Joy Weis
Community Health Workers play an important role in oral health care. Representatives from Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri, and Family Care Health Centers will discuss the history of Community Health Workers in Missouri and the benefits of having community health workers as members of dental health care teams.
Tiffani Muessig is a Health Program Representative III for the Department of Health & Senior Services in charge of coordinating Community Health Workers statewide. Tiffani recently began working for the Department of Health and Senior Services, bringing with her years of experience in project and contract management and a background in education and adult learning.
LaReecia Carter joined Family Care Health Centers in January of 2017 as one of the first Community Health Workers (CHW) to join the health care team. She utilizes many of her skills and talents to benefit the patients at Family Care Health Centers. Specifically, she has led groups to help patients and employees learn about couponing and budgeting. She screens patients’ social determinants of health using the PRAPARE tool, and she utilizes a variety of community resources and strategies to effectively help patients in their communities. She assists individuals, families, groups, and larger communities through education and support Ms. Carter is a diabetes and cardiovascular disease self-management facilitator. Ms. Carter has received formal training in Motivational Interviewing, QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer), Safe Sleep, Protect MO Kids, and Mental Health First Aid. Ms. Carter received a bachelor's degree in sociology, minor in psychology and a trauma certificate from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She received her certificate for completion of the St. Louis Community College Community Health Worker training program in December 2016, and she has returned to the CHW program as a guest speaker. Additionally, Ms. Carter serves on the Community Health Worker Board of Leaders in the St. Louis region, is the Treasurer of the Community Health Worker Association of Missouri, and the CHW representative on the MO Credentialing Board. She is highly involved in her community outside of her role as CHW in capacities such as: leadership in PTA at an elementary school, volunteer at several community organizations, and serving as an advocate in her community. Most recently Ms. Carter became a Certified Community Health Worker within the State of Missouri.
Suzanne Smith is Chief Officer of Network Development for the Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri. She graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1989 with a Bachelor in Recreation and a minor in Business Management. She worked at the Salt Fork YMCA as first the Member Services Director then as the CEO for 18 years. Suzanne has been involved in fund development for over 20 years. Suzanne has been with HCC five years and is responsible for the Network Activities including general membership, local and federal grants, two tele-health school based clinics, Community Health Workers, networking outreach opportunities, transportation initiative, Project Connect events, and the HCC “Warehouse”. She works on a daily basis to strengthen and maintain working relationships with network partners. Suzanne is supported by a six full time network coordinators who are Community Health Workers who assists with program and financial reports and implementation. She is also the resource person for the CHW ECHO HUB team and is a member of the Statewide CHW Payer Engagement Group and is active with the Statewide Community Health Worker Advisory Committee. She recently was voted as member at large of the State of Missouri CHW Association.
Lacey Martens serves as a school based Community Health Worker for Jordan Valley Community Health Center. Lacey partners with the school staff and nurses to reduce barriers to care for students. Lacey assists with scheduling children due to be seen for Dental as well as Medical on our mobile units. Lacey also ensures access to care by addressing Medicaid with families as needed. Lacey has been a vital part of the Community Health Worker team with her experience in Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and now our School Based services. Lacey is able to utilize her experience in each area to take a whole family approach to accessing care and services within Jordan Valley and our surrounding community.
Joy Weis serves as the Senior Manager of Special Projects for Jordan Valley Community Health Center. Joy oversees Jordan Valley’s school based health center program, telehealth program, and works with organizational contracts, policies, and grant management. Joy earned her undergraduate degree from Missouri Southern State University, and her Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University. Joy has a passion for equal access to care particularly in rural areas.