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Course Overview

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People walking, cooking together, attending a meeting together.

The sessions for this course include:

  • Introduction to Community Health Workers (CHWs)
  • Current Issues for the CHW Workforce
  • Workforce Development
  • Occupational Definition; Standards for Research and Evaluation
  • Sustainable Funding for CHW Positions
  • Moving Policy and Systems Change Forward


View Transcript


This training series consists of six self-paced sessions. Sessions one, two, and six can each be completed in less than an hour. Sessions three through five can each be completed in about half an hour.

The first two sessions convey the essential understanding of the CHW workforce you will need to communicate with stakeholders within your state. A consistent theme in this training is the importance of educating these stakeholders, especially organizations that may employ CHWs, about the unique nature of this workforce. Throughout this series, the word “employers” refers to potential employers of CHWs, who are mainly in the health care industry. You should not confuse this term with the broader base of all employers in your state.

The next three sessions explore the four essential arenas of public policy affecting CHWs: workforce development, occupational definition; standards for research and evaluation, and sustainable financing of ongoing CHW services. The interaction of these policy elements is complex, and a major hypothesis behind our presentation is that individual policy elements cannot be pursued in isolation. Multiple policies must be pursued in parallel.

The final session looks at case studies in Minnesota and Massachusetts for lessons learned in their attempts at comprehensive policy and systems change.

Each session includes a set of “learning objectives” that you will be able to complete by the end of the session.