Thanks to funding from the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge, the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health will soon offer Community Health Worker (CHW) training locally. This fall, two staff members and two community members will be fully trained as certified CHW Instructors through the Pathways Community HUB Institute and will train current and future CHWs in Cambria and Somerset counties and across the United States. Staff members who will be certified as instructors include Kimberly Roberts, Quality Assurance and Leanna Bird, Project Manager. Community members who will be certified include Dr. Deborah Gentile and Carol Harding, RN, FCN.

CHW Instructors, who specialize either in health education or care coordination, will be trained to provide CHW instruction that aligns with Pennsylvania Certification Board CHW Standards and with the Pathways Community HUB model.  This training will also fulfill the PA Certification Board standard of training that enables CHWs to become Certified CHWs through the PA Certification Board.

A minimum of 80 instructional/didactic hours and 80 clinical/practicum hours are required to meet the Pathways Community HUB Institute CHW training standards. The three-phase CHW Instructor training process includes observation of and participation in an 80-hour CHW class, six instructor meetings, and key lecture recordings. Content areas include understanding the CHW profession, interpersonal skills, service coordination, advocacy, capacity building, and more.

CHW Instructor Training is made possible through funding from the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge (HCCC), a program of the American Public Health Association, with funding from the Aetna Foundation. The HCCC aims to accelerate systems-level approaches to curate collaborative and community-led initiatives that improve community health. 1889 Foundation, in partnership with the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health, received funding through HCCC to support the work of the Community Care HUB and is leading one of the 20 teams chosen across the U.S. to participate in the Challenge. More information on the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge here.

An initiative of the Center, the Community Care HUB (HUB) partners with community organizations to employ 6 CHWs in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Community Health Workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of and/or have an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables CHWs 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.  All current HUB CHWs, who received their Pathways Community HUB Institute training, are now certified through the Pennsylvania Certification Board.