For the CHWs out there that are really into the CHW world you may have heard about the National Unity Conference that is annually held at a different locations with the purpose of getting CHWs together across the nation to retrieve CEUs, hear about different things going on in the field and meet other CHWs. For those that have not heard about this conference you can check out more here at this link: https://www.usm.edu/health/2017-csho-unity-conference. This year it was held in Dallas, TX and I had the honor to not only attend, but to present at a roundtable along with my team members about our program! I wanted to take out time to provide a recap about my experience to other CHWs and healthcare professionals that may be interested in attending next year so that you can know more about the conference. If you have an opportunity to attend I would recommend go if you can, I truly enjoyed my experience!
The location of the conference was Hilton Anatole Dallas for more info visit the link here:http://www.hiltonanatolehotel.com/
For those that live in the DFW area know this is a very nice hotel with many amenities to enjoy. Beautiful rooms and structure. I liked that the conference built in time for guest to enjoy the amenities and surrounding areas. For instance on check in day
Sunday Aug. 6, nothing was scheduled with the conference so you had time to mingle and enjoy the pool, shop, relax and just enjoy your day. Exhibitors who had tables could set up there information this day. I stayed at the hotel so I had more time to mingle with others which was a great benefit.
Monday, Aug. 7 the official welcome didn't start until 2pm, so you still had the morning to relax. The rest of the day was sessions until 5:30pm. Lots of excitement filled the air with individuals striking up conversation with other CHWs at their tables and as we had free time to mingle.
Tuesday, Aug. 8 there was an option for early morning exercise available if you wanted to try "Circulo de Bailolterapia" it's like a mix of Zumba meets disco. I tried it and it was fun! Lunch was provided and this day was filled with sessions and poster presentations and more breakout sessions for the rest of the evening. The topics varied which kept my interest and you had a choice to choose which breakout session you wanted to attend so that worked well for me with all of the different options and speakers.
Wednesday, Aug. 9 **The last day**-early morning exercise available again. Lunch was provided and this day was filled with roundtables and breakout sessions. We presented this day and had a full table each rotation which there were 3 rotations for about 25 minutes each to converse with the individuals at your table. I really enjoyed talking to people about out programs and received a lot of good feedback and connections in the field of public health. We were not allowed to use anything electronic so we had to get creative on how to explain our program and provide some visuals because we are very used to having that access with all of presentations. What we provided at the roundtables worked well and engaged our audience.
Overall: This conference was a great platform for so many CHWs to meet other CHWs across the nation and to hear how we all collectively are changing lives in our communities through different models and methods but at the end of the day what we each do is THE SAME...making a difference in others lives to improve the quality of their lives. I sat back and observed as people talked and presented and built new connections and friendships across the states and exchanging business cards. I thought to myself what will come of these new connections? What communities and individuals lives will be changed by the collective power of CHWs coming together to educate our communities? I don't have a quantitative number for these answers, but I for sure know the qualitative data will be off the charts!
~In Service, Tasha @chwtasha