CHWs as Workforce
The lesson Community Health Workers (CHWs) as Workforce provides detailed information on CHWs as a diverse yet distinct workforce. We will provide the American Public Health Association’s CHW Section’s definition of CHWs that has been widely adopted by states across the U.S. After briefly outlining the history of CHWs and sharing some of this workforce’s historical milestones in the context of public health; we will present information on the demonstrated impact of CHWs on health and health equity. Discussing the current CHW workforce, we will turn to the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project (C3 Project) that developed nationwide consensus among CHW networks and stakeholders on a broad spectrum of CHW core roles and competencies. In concluding this lesson, we will explore building blocks needed to achieve a sustainable workforce in the U.S., with a special focus on CHWs in Oklahoma.
Communication & Documenting Your Work
Communication for CHWs provides detailed information on the broad
topic of communication. According to the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project (
C3 Project), communication is the first core skill of CHWs that is a
key ingredient to being successful in their chosen profession. In this lesson,
we will review the definition of communication, and examine different types and
processes of communication, before introducing effective communication. Then,
we will reflect upon why communication is important for the CHW role, before
examining three types of effective communication strategies: (1) verbal and
non-verbal communication, (2) written communication, and (3) communicating
through presentations. Importantly, the section on written communication
incudes information about how CHWs can document their work.
Capacity Building Skills
The Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project (C3 Project) has identified capacity building skills as necessary for effective work as a CHW. Capacity building refers to strengthening the knowledge, skills, and confidence of individuals or communities. In this session, we will focus on needed capacities at the individual and community level. Lesson topics include definitions of capacity building, motivational interviewing and goal setting, community capacity building, and advocacy. This training session includes 4 lessons that build upon previous content covered in the CHW training.
Service Coordination & Health System Navigation; Health Insurance Navigation
These sessions will focus on the CHW Skill 3: Service Coordination and Navigation as outlined in the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project (C3 Project). The health care and social service systems are complex, and ensuring clients receive needed information and services is paramount to the roles CHWs play. Service coordination and navigation helps clients to identify needs and resources to support and achieve improved outcomes. Community health workers are positioned to meet the overall aims of healthcare delivery by developing these skills.
Individual & Community Assessment Skills; Professional Skills and Conduct
This training focuses on CHW Skill #7 and CHW Skill #9, conducting individual and community assessments, and professional skills and conduct. The training content will focus on introducing CHWs to concepts needed for professional growth by focusing on individual and community strengths. In this training, supporting the health of clients and communities is extended to also include supporting personal health. This training builds upon previous CHW skills.
This lesson provides information on the CHW Skill #10: Participating in Evaluation and Research as outlined in the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project. Over the past two decades, CHWs have increasingly become engaged in research studies and evaluations. This is exciting, because CHWs are actively participating in inquiries about their own workforce. In this lesson, we focus on evaluation only. We describe what evaluation is, explain why it is important for CHWs to actively engage in evaluation, and explore outreach and training evaluation in more detail.
This lesson focuses on chronic disease and diabetes, which fits into the CHW Core Skill #11: Knowledge Base as outlined in the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project. Chronic diseases are major health concerns in the United States that need to be addressed to reduce their high monetary and human costs. CHWs can effectively help with this task and thus, in this training, we discuss how CHWs can help prevent and manage chronic diseases. After providing an overview of CHW integration into health care teams to address chronic disease, we focus on diabetes as an example of a chronic disease, and explore the roles CHWs can perform in addressing diabetes. We include examples of how CHWs in Oklahoma already help reduce the burden of diabetes.
This training is organized to meet the CHW Skill 11 competencies for increasing the CHW knowledge related to behavioral health. This training focuses on common mental health issues faced among U.S. adults, and provides resources CHWs can use to help individuals deal with mental health disorders.