The CHW Center
As Community Health Workers (CHWs) become an integrated part of coordinated care, Access Health has created the CHW Center to provide a system for the recruitment, training and retention of this new workforce through our work around core competencies. Working with national leaders and human resource professionals, we want to create an environment of “professional integration” for both employers and Community Health Workers in order to have a workforce that has the ability to grow and serve in many roles and capacities. Our primary goals in The CHW Center of Stark are to:
- Design and pilot projects that are aimed at the integration of CHWs into the workforce of Stark County
- Create proprietary tools that aid in health literacy, self-empowerment and evaluation of CHW initiatives.
- Formalize data processes to share with partners on reduction of disparities by addressing the social determinants of health
- Identify agencies and initiatives that would benefit from Community Health Workers
THE CHW CENTER
- Listens to the communities for buy-in of CHWs in their neighborhoods
- Recruits and interviews for open training cohorts. Our interviewing and evaluations are based on national standards of core competencies
- Training of CHWs (Access Health has applied to be a training site approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing) with the lead of NEOMed University. We partner with local universities as they look to develop accredited college programs. We will train both clinical and non-clinical CHWs.
- Oversight of Practicum experiences (130 hours) both in-house and in agencies or with health teams
- Coaching and Mentoring Support
- Peer Support Learning Community that serves CHWs from all Stark County initiatives
- Creates the opportunity to address all health issues (infant mortality, diabetes self-management, chronic disease, etc.)
- Partners with agencies to assist with the integration and role of the CHW
The role and the work of the CHW is not familiar in Stark County. The THRIVE Project has been a leader in the integration of CHWs into infant mortality for our county. Access Health also has an ER Diversion project and a primary care pilot project that utilize the use of a community health worker.