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Community Health Worker Course

What is the Community Health Worker Course?

Chw course faded imageThe Community Health Worker (CHW) Course provides introductory training to support Healthy Start (HS) staff in developing the core competencies needed to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of a Healthy Start CHW. This self-paced online course was developed by John Snow, Inc. in collaboration with the CHW Course Advisory Group, which included grantees, DHSPS staff, and CHWs.

The course was designed for CHWs or any trusted, frontline (but usually non-licensed) staff member working directly with HS participants. This includes staff who are directly employed by or subcontracted by a HS project. These staff may go by different names, including navigator, parent advocate, family educator, male involvement coordinator, fatherhood engagement specialist, and outreach worker, and others. This course is for all of them. The course is also open to any HS staff member who wants to take it, such as supervisors, nurses, social workers, managers, and others.

The course is intended to serve as a standardized training element of Healthy Start workforce development and is designed to provide a common foundation, shared across all HS programs nationwide, of the basic perinatal health knowledge and skills needed to effectively serve Healthy Start participants.

The CHW Course is a self-paced, online course. The course is comprised of 11 modules that include interactive online activities and supplemental offline activities to provide real world practice.

Each of the 11 modules focuses on one of the core competencies for HS CHWs. The first five modules cover the knowledge-based competencies related to the HS program and the four perinatal phases: Healthy Start 101, Preconception/Interconception Health, Prenatal Health, Postpartum Health and Parenting & Child Development. The remaining six modules cover Scope of Practice & Core Values, as well as the core competencies related to key CHW roles in Healthy Start: Outreach, Participant Screening & Community Assessment, Health Education, Care Coordination, and Participant Empowerment & Community Engagement.

Each module begins with a statement of learning objectives and ends with a knowledge check to assess the user’s understanding of key concepts covered in the module. Each module is composed of 10-15 “units” covering important subtopics or interactive learning activities. Units take anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 minutes to complete, depending on what kind of content they include.

To access the course content, you must create an account on the Healthy Start Hub. You can learn more about the Hub here.

Once you have created a Healthy Start Hub account, you will be able to access the CHW Course and any other available courses by following the steps outlined here.