Community Health Worker Training Program of Tennessee
The program focuses on increasing the quantity and quality of certified community health workers (CHWs) working in Tennessee. The Community Health Worker Training Program of Tennessee (CHWTPT) is a partnership between VUSN, the Tennessee Community Health Worker Association (TNCHWA) and the Rural Health Association of Tennessee.
What is a CHW? CHWs are frontline public health workers who:
- Are rooted in or very familiar with the patient community through shared life and/or health experiences
- Improve quality and cultural competence of organization's service delivery
- Are effective in helping patients follow through with provider recommendations
- Motivate, teach, and help patients build wellness and other skills
- Actively engage with patients to improve health outcomes, establishing rapport and trust
- Provide individual and group health education around many different health topics (e.g. diabetes management, healthy pregnancy, vaccinations, hypertension)
- Facilitate access to social services and social support
- Communicate with health care providers on behalf of patients and the community
Selected in part for their strong interpersonal skills, CHWs enjoy solving service related and wellness problems. They respond to patient and practice needs with community connections, organizational skills and the ability to maintain the confidence of patients and providers
Individuals interested in increasing their skillset and obtaining CHW certification for TN should apply. The program is comprised of virtual, competency-based training with an option for a field placement or apprenticeship, when applicable.
For more information, watch the launch of our new program from January 19, 2023.
To build, support, and sustain a CHW training program and employment pathway for certified CHWs
Recruit and train 270 trusted community members who live in Tennessee and are interested in increasing positive health outcomes in their communities.
Place trained community members in a variety of settings such as social service agencies, clinics, hospitals, schools and health departments across Tennessee to help them gain work skills.
Certify CHWs based on training completion and on-the job skill development according to standardized competencies.
Train and support agencies who are interested in hiring CHWs to improve service delivery for patients/customers.
All trainees will complete either a field placement or apprenticeship to achieve certification:
- Field placement: trainees will complete 144 hours of training in CHW competencies and 192 hours of on-the-job instruction as an unpaid intern at a community agency.
- Apprenticeship: trainees will complete 144 hours of training in CHW competencies and 2000 hours of paid on-the-job experience at a community agency.
- The 144 virtual training/education hours for all trainees includes self-paced modules through an online learning platform as well as educational/practice sessions with a trainer (via Zoom)
- Competency-based modules and learning experiences topics include: Social Determinants of Health, Telehealth, Digital and Health Literacy, Health Equity, Chronic Disease
Interpersonal and relationship-building skills
Service coordination and navigation skills
Capacity building and empowerment skills
Education, facilitation, leadership skills
Individual and community assessment skills
Professional/organizational skills and conduct
Evaluation and research skills
The CHWTPT is a collaboration between VUSN, TNCHWA and Rural Health Association of TN:
Program Director, VUSN
Dr. Christian Ketel
Program Evaluation, VUSN
Dr. Nikayla Boyd
Executive Director, TNCHWA
Consultant, Clinton Associates
CHW Apprenticeship Coordinator, Rural Health
Training Coordinator, TNCHWA
Training Coordinator, TNCHWA
Senior Program Assistant, VUSN
The CHWTPT is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3M with 0% financed with non-governmental sources.