Community Health Navigator (CHN) Training
Community Health Navigator (CHN) Training is being made available one-time, early November 2020 through January 2021, by the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium through a grant from the Iowa Workforce Development Coronavirus Relief Fund. This virtual, statewide CHN Training will build the skills and capacity of participants to improve their value in ministering to and supporting the health status of individuals and families in their communities, and make participants more marketable. It is designed for interpreters, care coordinators, community health, community support and other frontline workers, especially those who have been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief among many unfortunate implications of the COVID-19 pandemic is the disproportionate impact of the virus on individuals and families with challenges related to the Social Determinants of Health (i.e. persons of color, living in poverty, low levels of education). Transportation, childcare and food security are just a few examples of the significant challenges faced by individuals entering the workforce. These issues also contribute significantly to the ability to stay in the workforce once employed. The pandemic and economic downturn have exacerbated these issues, and many families in Iowa are now faced with crushing needs at the same time the services designed to support them have also been negatively impacted. ICCC knows that the state’s return to health and economic recovery will require an “all hands on deck” approach. Building the capacity of workers who assist families facing these challenges helps both the workers and the families assisted, many of whom fall within underrepresented populations.
A new Community Health Navigator (CHN) training opportunity is being offered by the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC), a non-profit providing Iowa’s Community Health Worker trainings. The CHN training is supported in part by Iowa Workforce Development’s recently announced Coronavirus Relief Employer Innovation Fund, a part of Governor Reynold’s Future Ready Iowa initiative. It will be offered statewide. The Community Health Navigator (CHN) training builds the skills and capacity of participants ministering to and supporting the health status of individuals and families in their communities. The training will improve a participant’s value to organization where they may presently work and make under-employed or unemployed participants more marketable. Because this workforce often serves underserved populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, the improved capacity of the trained CHNs assisting these individuals and families will aid their ability to re-enter or remain in Iowa’s workforce, creating maximum impact for Iowa workers and families.
The training curriculum will focus on workforce development resources; fundamentals of community health advancement; effective communication skills; healthcare, social service, community resource referral; personal resilience and self-care; and, COVID-19 community response and recovery skills and strategies. The training program will be offered from early November 2020 through January 2021. Most of the learning modules in the training (estimated 25 hours) will be available on-demand to maximize participant availability and convenience, with four-five scheduled online live class sessions. Successful participants completing the CHN program will earn a certificate as a Community Health Navigator from the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium and non-credit postsecondary Community Health Navigator Training certificate from the Des Area Community College, which will open opportunities for employment or advancement for participants.
The virtually delivered community health workforce training was created for interpreters, care coordinators, community health, community support and other frontline workers, especially those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preference will be given to applicants to those whose jobs have been eliminated or affected by the pandemic, including low skilled workers who are veterans, returning citizens, members of underrepresented communities, minorities, women, persons with disabilities, Native Americans, or low-income Iowans.
Through generous support from Iowa Workforce Development’s Coronavirus Relief Employer Innovation Fund, the cost of the training for participants or their sponsoring employers will be limited to $100. This includes all fees, learning materials and certifications. Participants will also be eligible for limited stipends to support childcare, virtual learning connections and other personal expenses to enable their learning. Candidates for participation must be at least 18 years of age.
ICCC has partnered with the University of Iowa College of Public Health’s Institute for Public Health Practice, Des Moines Area Community College and select community-based organizations to create and deliver the Community Health Navigator training. Certain elements of ICCC’s statewide Community Health Worker (CHW) Registered Apprenticeship and CHW Professional Skills Training will be utilized along with contemporary resources and other specialized content. The Institute for Public Health Practice will develop and maintain the learning portal for the training program and provide creative media production services for the curriculum. Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) will review the curriculum, manage CHN training registration and provide non-credit certificates for participants successfully completing the program.
Applications for the Community Health Navigator (CHN) Training are available at www.iowaccc.com/chnapplication. Complete and return this form as soon as possible to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be reviewed as received. Class size is limited to 25 participants. Final consideration of applications for enrollment will be November 3, 2020 if class openings remain.
An orientation webinar to this new Community Health Navigator training program is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 12:00 – 12:45 PM CST. This orientation will outline the training elements, application process, registration, stipends and schedule. Registration for the CHN Orientation Webinar is available at www.iowaccc.com/chnorientation. For application, program or additional information, please contact the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC): Deb Kazmerzak, email@example.com /515-554-3788; or Dr. William Appelgate, firstname.lastname@example.org /515-988-6475.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the purpose of the Community Health Navigator (CHN) Training being offered by ICCC?
The Community Health Navigator (CHN) training builds skills and capacity of those that provide supports and services to individuals and families in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the challenges that many individuals and their families already faced, such as transportation, childcare, healthcare, food, income, and employment (often referred to as the Social Determinants of Health). The pandemic has also disproportionately impacted persons of color, those living in poverty and those with low levels of education. An important part of the state’s economic recovery is to support these individuals and families and link them with needed services so that they are able to return work, their children return to school, and regain stability.
- When and how is the CHN training being offered?
The CHN training will begin in November 2020 and and run through January 2021. It will be conducted exclusively online. Approximately 75% of the online training will be available on-demand (asynchronously) enabling individuals to access the training at time convenient to their own schedule. The other 25% (approximately) will be available during regularly scheduled, live sessions that offer the opportunity to discuss the course content, share experiences and network with others in the course.
- What is the time commitment for those in the CHN training?
The CHN training will be approximately 25 hours of online (on-demand and scheduled) learning sessions.
- What are the primary elements of the CHN training?
The training curriculum will focus on workforce development resources; fundamentals of community health advancement; effective communication skills; healthcare, social service, community resource referral; personal resilience and self-care; and, COVID-19 community response and recovery skills/strategies.
- What is the cost of the CHN training?
The regular tuition for the training is $1,800 per participant. However, as a result of scholarship support from the Iowa Workforce Development Coronavirus Relief Fund and ICCC, the cost to selected participants, or their employer, will be only $100.
- Who is eligible to enroll as a participant in the CHN training?
Interpreters, care coordinators, community health, community support and other frontline workers, especially those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preference will be given to applicants whose jobs have been eliminated or affected by the pandemic, including low skilled workers who are veterans, returning citizens, members of under-represented communities, minorities, women, persons with disabilities, Native Americans or low-income Iowans. Applicants must be 18 years of age to participate.
- What if I my job wasn’t lost or impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, can I still participate in the training?
If you, or your family members, were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in ways other than job loss or reduction, you can still apply to participate in the training.
- Who is providing the CHN training?
The Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC) is offering this training program. ICCC also provides Iowa’s Community Health Worker (CHW) Professional Skills Training and a Department of Labor-approved CHW Registered Apprenticeship Program.
- How can I apply for the Community Health Navigator Training program?
Applications are available at www.iowaccc.com/chnapplication. They are also available by contacting Deb Kazmerzak at email@example.com or 515-554-3788.
- Is there support for internet connectivity, childcare or other services to support participant enrollment and completion of the training?
Yes. Limited stipends are available to approved CHN training participants to defray costs such as childcare, internet connectivity and computer access which enables full and active learning for enrollees.
- How can I learn more about this CHN training program?
An orientation webinar to describe the purpose of the CHN training program, participant requirements and selection, participant cost and application, training elements, training schedule and faculty will be held on Wednesday, October 21 from Noon – 12:45 PM CST. Registration is available at www.iowaccc.com/chnorientation Questions can also be directed to Deb Kazmerzak at firstname.lastname@example.org /515-554-3788, or William Appelgate at email@example.com /515-988-6475.
- What do I receive upon successful completion of the CHN training?
ICCC will offer a certificate of competency as a Community Health Navigator and the Des Moines Area Community College will offer a non-credit certificate for Community Health Navigator Training. Additionally, successful participants will gain new skills and competence in serving Iowa’s individuals and families and serve in important roles in aiding the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.