Priority Health Community Health Workers recognized by MiCHWA    

(Grand Rapids, Mich. – Nov. 14, 2019): Community Health Workers for Michigan-based health insurer, Priority Health, took home multiple awards and honors from the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance (MiCHWA) 7th Annual Meeting in Lansing, Michigan.  

The Community Health Worker Extraordinary Service Awards are divided up into four categories: Legend, Spotlight, Rockstar Rookie and Key Contributor. Priority Health CHW's took home awards in three of the four categories.  

“We want to congratulate our Community Health Workers for all of their hard work, dedication and commitment to improving the health and lives of our members,” said Sheila Wilson, Director of Care Management, Medicaid and Individual Products, Dual Special Needs Plans at Priority Health. “Our team displays a tremendous amount of passion and empathy for the work they do. We’re extremely honored to work with such a talented team.” 

The Spotlight Award was given to Priority Health Community Health Worker Joel Schaafsma. This award is given to a CHW who has been serving in their role for 4-9 years and has made a true difference in the community. Linda Dunneback, CHW at Priority Health, also received an honorable mention for this category. 

The Rock Star Rookie Award was given to Kanesha Pryor, CHW at Priority Health. This award is given to the CHW who has been serving in their role for less than three years, but has demonstrated great promise and commitment to this work. Lisa Verburg, Priority Health CHW, also received an Honorable Mention. 

Priority Health CHW April Brinkert received an Honorable Mention for the Legend Award. This award is given to the CHW who has been serving in this role for more than 10 years and embodies true service to their community. 

“As a company we are proud to employ community health workers,” said Bethany Swartz, Manager, Care Management Medicaid at Priority Health. “They each have unique roles and experience that they bring to their position and are truly the voice and advocate for our members.” 

According to MiCHWA, the purpose of the awards is to recognize and acknowledge outstanding service, dedication and excellence within the profession. The American Public Health association defines a CHW as those who serve as a liaison between health and social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery, according to the American Public Health Association.  

All community health workers, also known as village health workers, public health technicians, promotoras, community health advisors, outreach workers, health auxiliaries, health workers, lay health workers, health agents, health promoters, family welfare educators, health volunteers, school health aides, diabetes community health workers and community health aides were eligible for nomination. Requirements for submission included a one page description on each nominee’s community involvement, cultural sensitivity, and diversity and inclusion efforts, in addition to a summary of their problem solving skills. 

Winners received a commemorative award and also had their conference fee waived. 


About Priority Health:

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering a broad portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than a million members each year, and offering a network that includes 97 percent of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Priority Health is the smart choice for people seeking affordable, quality health insurance.