Community Health Worker (CHW)

Employer Information

As part of the health care team, CHWs have been shown to help 1) secure access to health care, 2) coordinate timely access to primary care, behavioral health, and preventive services, and 3) help individuals manage chronic conditions.

Watch this video to learn more about the cost effectiveness and return on investment from employing a CHW.

The CHW program learning outcomes for those who obtain the Certificate of Achievement are to:

The students must take 16 units to obtain the certificate of achievement.

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Benefits fo Hiring a CHW

Hiring a CHW helps your organization with:

  • Outreach and community mobilization

  • Community/cultural liaison

  • Case management and care coordination

  • Home-based support

  • Health promotion and health coaching

  • System navigation

  • Participatory research

CHWs are peers and members of the communities that they serve. As such, they have the inside knowledge and cultural competency that enables them to build relationships with their clients. CHWs can earn the trust of their clients.  This relationship is fundamental to breaking down barriers to accessing care (e.g., mistrust of the health care system, healthy literacy, language, and cultural barriers). As part of community outreach activities, CHWs have succeeded in engaging hardly reached and high-risk populations, which has helped reduce health disparities.

Read more about the California Health Care Foundation’s project to enhance the capacity of Medi-Cal managed care plans and their partners to deploy community health worker and promotor programs that advance health equity.

IBEST

The CHW program uses the IBEST model to ensure student success. This means that students work with two teachers in the classroom: one teacher provides job skills training and the other teaches basic skills in reading, math, or English language. Courses are taught in English but will have an ESL instructor to facilitate language acquisition. The CHW program encourages English as a Second Language Learners and Adult Learners to consider getting a CHW certificate because of this assistance in the classroom.

Hosting an Intern, Fellow, or Apprentice

The Department of Labor recognizes CHW programs as suitable for creating apprentice positions in the healthcare industry. The Urban Institute, with Department of Labor funds, developed an apprenticeship framework for CHWs that can be adapted for Cabrillo College’s CHW students.

The CHW program is currently securing internship opportunities for students that need 120 hours of field based experience. The opportunity to practice what they have learned in a real world setting with the support of a supervisor is critical to CHW training. Please contact Adrienne Saxton if you are interested in hosting a CHW intern.

Get Involved

The CHW program works closely with regional leadership [link to Who’s Involved page]. An advisory board meets bi-annually, following guidelines listed in the CTE Advisory Committee Handbook.

Contact Adrienne Saxton for meeting minutes, to learn how to get involved with the Advisory Board, or to set up an internship, fellowship, or apprenticeship. And join our LinkedIn group!