Community Health Workers (CHW) are trusted members of the community with a passion for helping others prevent or manage disease or other physical/behavioral health issues. Studies have shown that CHWs have a positive impact on patients’ keeping appointments, taking their medications, and reducing risk by improving access to primary care and preventative services, and by helping individuals manage chronic conditions. While some CHWs may have minimal formal training in medicine or health, they tend to have an intimate knowledge of their communities and local resources. They use that knowledge and passion to help individuals overcome barriers to care such as those associated with language, culture, transportation, scheduling and finances.

The Eastcentral PA Area Health Education Center (AHEC) offers a 100 hour training program designed to provide the core competencies needed for work in community-based and inpatient settings. Also, the training provides comprehensive information about accessing healthcare and other social/community resources which are specific to the particular area where the training takes place.

Curriculum Overview
  • Community Health Worker: History and Definition
  • Boundaries and Personal Safety/ Population Safety
  • Cultural Competency
  • Legal, Ethical, and Professional Skills and Conduct
  • Networking, Teamwork and Communication
  • Health Literacy
  • Documentation and Assessment Skills
  • Self-care
  • Chronic Disease Overview
    • Behavioral Health
      • Youth Mental Health First Aid (8 hours)
    • Tobacco
  • COMPASS Training/Benefits Check-up
  • First Aid/CPR & AED
  • Knowing Your Community: Services, Systems and Resources
    • Care Coordination and System Navigation Skills

The above curriculum utilizes various learning styles which include lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, guest speakers, specialized training and student presentations.

Contact ECPA AHEC to schedule training for staff at your organization. Training can be modified to meet the needs of participants and the community in which they live.

610-379-2001 or