Community Health Worker (CHW)

Student Spotlights

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Ana Hirsig was already working as a program coordinator for the Day Worker Center in Santa Cruz, advocating for “our Jornalero’s and Jornalera’s” (day laborers).  When she heard that there was a certificate for what she was already doing she said, “let’s go get it!”

Now working as a CHW-Health Navigator at Samaritan Health Services in Albany Oregon, Ana gets the opportunity to help patients navigate the health system and with the Social Determinants of Health. She identifies barriers that trigger sickness on her patients and provides them with community resources. 

“The program gave me the tools I needed to be more successful in my career. I not only increased my knowledge but got to meet very successful people, all driven to make this world a better place,” says Ana.
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While on the waitlist for the nursing program, Yadhira heard about the CHW certificate program. She thought it would be a great opportunity to get back to studying and to enrich her knowledge.

About the program, she says “It was absolutely amazing. I had wonderful teachers and made beautiful friendships with women from different backgrounds. The emphasis was on working with clients compassionately and with an open mind, so we could refer them to the right resources.”

Yadhira appreciated that many of the students had the community experience, especially with agricultural workers, that they brought to the program. She is in the nursing program and currently is doing nursing community outreach. She knows that the classes and experiences she had under the CHW program will come into play.

She’s excited for the future, saying “Anything is do-able if you really like it and put all of yourself into it.”
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Martha currently works for the Center for Community Advocacy as a health promoter with their farm worker community. She also provides supplemental activities for the farm workers and their families which take place after work hours. She is interested in going through the CHW so that she will gain more knowledge and learn other ways to better help her community. Martha has volunteered since she was young and living in Mexico, and now that she is living here she likes being involved and helping her community.

Register for HS130 Intro to Community Health Work to learn about the CHW profession.