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Advocacy Agenda

for the National Community-Based Doula and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Network

  1. Maintain and expand federal and state appropriations for community-based doula and breastfeeding peer counselor programs.
  2. Engage stakeholders to promote the use of community health workers, including community-based doulas and breastfeeding peer counselors, nationwide.
  3. Encourage public/private partnerships, including Medicaid and private insurance companies, to advance fiscal sustainability of community-based doula and breastfeeding peer counselor programs

We are National Leaders.

HealthConnect One has trained parents, community health workers and direct service providers for over 25 years to promote breastfeeding, provide pregnancy and birthing support, and prevent infant mortality -- with significant documented results. Because we know the effectiveness of the Community Health Worker (CHW) model -- which includes Community-Based Doulas and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors -- we work with CHWs, Promotores de Salud* and other stakeholders across the country to strengthen, support, expand, and promote this role.


Below, you will see a few examples of how our national leadership has been recognized.


* Translated as “promoters of health,” the terms promotores and promotoras result from social change movements in Latin America, and are used in Mexico, Latin America and Latino communities in the United States

American Public Health Association - CHW Section
  • In October 2012, HC One Program Director Wandy Hernandez was installed by her peers as Chair of the American Public Health Association's CHW Section.


National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council
  • December 2010 - This statement by HC One Executive Director Rachel Abramson supports community health worker interventions to eliminate health disparities.

United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)

W. K. Kellogg First Foods Field Builder
  • HealthConnect One has been recognized by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a Field Builder, one of six national organizations considered leaders of the Foundation’s First Food national strategy.


We Understand What it Takes to Make Change.

Our advocacy involves convening stakeholders, developing messages, supporting families prenatally, during childbirth, and through their breastfeeding experiences, and strengthening underserved communities. For example:


  • We advocate for a collaborative approach to increase breastfeeding rates and reduce breastfeeding disparities in Illinois, based on data, community forums, and partnership with a wide variety of stakeholders. 

  • We advocate for birthing families to be presented with their umbilical cord blood options, through our Umbilical Cord Blood: Link to Life toolkit and training program and bilingual (Spanish/English) outreach tools.

Please Join Us.

Learn about our National Advocacy Network

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Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy, Office of Health Reform, with HC One Program Director Wandy Hernandez


Join HC One's National Advocacy Network

National Advocacy Network:
details and resources here

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Breastfeeding Support:

Who Gets Paid?

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A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served.  This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.  A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.

- Definition developed by the American Association of Community Health Workers and adopted by the APHA