Community Health Worker Professional Skills Training

Community Health Workers are one of the fastest growing components of the healthcare workforce. In fact, the US Department of Labor supported occupational resource O*Net gives community health workers a “Bright Outlook” ranking, meaning the profession is expected to grow fast. There are clear reasons for this.

CHWs provide an effective strategy to connect underserved individuals in a community to healthcare resources – providers and other neighborhood healthcare services – to lift the health status of their populations.

Individuals qualified or attributed to health plans, especially Medicare and Medicaid, profit from CHW assistance in navigating complex and often confounding health services which are available.

Health outcomes of many in our communities are dramatically influenced by Social Determinants of Health – housing, food, transportation, etc. – which CHWs are often skilled to address.

A new CHW Professional Skills Training has been developed to address the unique needs for training Community Health Workers for Iowa. Developed by the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC) with guidance from the Iowa CHW Alliance, the primarily online training will be offered for the first time, beginning July 2019. Aligned with standards developed through the Centers for Disease Control, this CHW Professional Skills Training is also a part of a new CHW Registered Apprentice Program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. Enrollees may elect the CHW Professional Skills Training or may also participate in the CHW Registered Apprentice Program to earn a nationally recognized CHW Credential. ICCC is working with the Des Moines Area Community College to develop a CHW Professional Skills Training certificate (non-credit) that we anticipate will be granted to those successfully completing the course work.

This CHW training is both contemporary and comprehensive. Extensive research and active learning components focus practical aspects and skills essential to effective CHW performance. The course covers:

  • Essential role of CHWs
  • Promoting health equity and equality
  • Practicing cultural humility
  • Conducting client interviews
  • Client-centered behavior change and counseling
  • Care management
  • Home visits – approach, safety, security
  • Stress management and self-care
  • Conflict resolution
  • Chronic conditions management
  • Healthy eating and active living
  • Understanding trauma
  • Health services outreach
  • Professional skills

The CHW Professional Skills Training consists of 23 weekly online sessions 90 minutes in duration, along with supplemental reading and assignments, beginning in July 2109 and continuing through January 2020. Optional live onsite sessions will also be provided to fortify the learning experience. For registration or additional information, please call the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC) – Deb Kazmerzak at 515-554-3788, William Appelgate at 515-988-6475 or email william.appelgate@iowaccc.com