Community Health Workers
Community health workers are trained to bridge the gap between their patients and the healthcare system. Community health roles include
- advocating, facilitating and organizing access to health and social services for an identified group of patients;
- serving as liaisons between high-risk, high-cost patients and their healthcare providers; and
- visiting patients in their homes, as well as accompanying them to clinical appointments.
Community health workers have frequent contact and conduct follow-up visits with patients to demonstrate improved care, improved health and lower costs.
Community Health Worker Training
Together with the Center for Community Partnerships and the District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, the Temple University Health System developed the curriculum for the effective training of community health workers. The training model helps learners
- acquire knowledge,
- analyze underlying constructs,
- apply and synthesize learned materials, and
- be self-evaluative.
The functions of community health workers may vary by size and type of practice, healthcare specialty or patient needs. However, all community health workers must possess fundamental competencies to successfully work with patients and increase healthcare services to underserved populations.
The goal of Temple University’s training model is to prepare individuals with the basic skills to become impactful community healthcare workers. Through the introduction and integration of key concepts during training, the model comprises
- 120 hours of didactic, in-classroom training based on ten modular topics;
- a capstone simulation exercise;
- career coaching;
- opportunities to apply and acquire college undergraduate course credit;
- portfolio development;
- six months of an on-the-job training component;
- supplemental special health-related topic seminars and job readiness workshops;
- twenty hours of assignments, practice reflections, readings and/or self-assessments;
- weekly case reviews and skills practice sessions; and
- weekly quizzes.
Participants who complete the program acquire
- advocacy skills,
- capacity-building skills,
- cultural competency skills,
- communication skills,
- ethical practice,
- interpersonal skills,
- health promotion skills,
- organizational skills, and
- service coordination skills.
The Community Health Workers training program is offered at different times throughout the academic year.