Community Health Outreach Workers annual conference

By Imani Williams

LANSING – Community Health Outreach Workers (CHOW) held their annual state HIV/STD outreach worker conference September 11-12 in Lansing.
Human service agencies from around the state gathered to discuss and learn more about strategies for working with clients that are HIV- positive. This year's conference title was "Outreach to the 3rd Power: Prevention for Our Community, Our Workplace and Ourselves."
The event was designed to prepare an array of HIV/AIDS prevention and service providers with necessary knowledge and skills to assist them in their work as well as reward them for their continued diligence in the fight to end this far reaching pandemic.
Workshops were interactive, presenters were asked not to give a traditional lecture. Instead presenters were asked to prepare a workshop session of 90 minutes that utilized panel discussions and group interaction.
Workshops were facilitated by Linda Draper,Wayne State University; Deena Policicchio, Alternatives for Girls; Amorie Robinson, Association of Black Psychologists; Thea Simmons, Community Health Promotions; Felix Sirls, Linda Draper, Ron Doe, Kae McDuffie, Lansing Area Aids Network; Imani Williams, Ruth Ellis Center; and Harold Cherry, South Side Help Center.
Keynote speaker Harold Cherry told the audience, you need to be clear about who your population is, get in give your information and get out. You won't reach someone who is coming in (the shooting gallery) looking to get high. You have to hit that person once they shoot up. That is when they need something to do with their hands. That's an excellent time to give them your agency information.
As part of the registration cost participants were welcome to take part in a 'Rejuvenation Spa,' which included professional skin care, massage, and acupuncture therapy.
"This year's conference was a huge success we look forward to an even larger event next year," said Schawne Parker, CHOW executive director.
CHOW, Inc. can be reached on 313-963-3352 2727 or by visiting there office at Second Avenue Ste. 300 in Detroit.