More than 40 frontline health workers registered for Iowa’s first C.O.R.E. Training program for community health workers (CHWs) this March. The three-day program, held March 28-30 at the State Hygienic Lab in Ankeny, was hosted by the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium and made possible in part by a grant from the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation. Member organizations of the Iowa Community Health Worker Alliance served as advisors for the training.
CHWs are uniquely positioned to help individuals and communities achieve better health outcomes, especially those who are underserved and hardest hit by negative socioeconomic determinants of health. CHWs serve as connectors, navigators, and coaches to help link individuals and communities to health care and social services. They encourage individuals to self-activate in setting and achieving health goals. They create a continuous loop of facilitation, support, and feedback for those receiving and providing health care and social services.
Some comments about the training experience:
- “We were recognized as a crucial element of the health care continuum and that was reiterated from all professionals there.”
- “Lots of collaboration between organizations.”
- “The energy and sincere willingness to help others. The thought that we are all working together from different counties.”
Participants included CHWs from Amerihealth Caritas Iowa, Central Iowa Works, Connections Area Agency on Aging, Dallas County Public Health and Nursing Services, Delta Dental of Iowa, Eastern Iowa Health Center, Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center, FRIENDS, the Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri, Iowa Department of Public Health, Linn County Health Department, Primary Health Care, and United Community Health Center.
Exhibitors included Amerigroup, Iowa Cancer Consortium, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Primary Care Association, Lifelong Links/Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging, SafeNet Rx, and United Healthcare.
Faculty for the event were William Appelgate, PhD, CPC; Liani Cherput, Chris Espersen; Priscilla Gilbert, Shelley Horak, MPH; Deb Kazmerzak; Noreen O’Shea, DO; Kelly Rawlings; Meagan Schorr, MPH, CHES; and Alicia Soppe. CHW panelists included Vivian De Gonzalez and Lian Thang Puii.
ICCC hopes to offer future training opportunities. If you’re interested in participating as a learner, faculty member, exhibitor, host, or funder, please contact Amy Finstad at: [email protected]