Numbers Trained
In 2016, the National CHW Training Center delivered training to 1315 students (not un-duplicated counts). This total includes:

  • 1178 CHWs & 137 CHW Instructors
  • 55 Certification students & 1260 CEU students
  • 687 in-person & 628 online students

Presentations & Conferences

  • Healthy South Texas Community Expo, April 16, McAllen, TX
  • Baylor Scott & White Interprofessional Education & Research Symposium, April 20, College Station, TX
  • National Rural Health Association Health Equity Conference, May 10, Minneapolis, MN
  • Texas Gulf Coast CHW/Promotora Association Annual Conference, June 1, Houston, TX
  • Healthy South Texas Research Colloquium, June 2-3, College Station, TX
  • CHW Unity Conference, July 17-20, Atlanta, GA
  • American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Oct. 30 – Nov. 2, Denver, CO

New Curricula Developed, Added, and/or Certified

  • Service Coordination for CHW Instructors – 4.0 CEUs
  • Introduction to Mental Health – 1.0 CEU
  • Connecting Children & Adolescents to Mental Health Care – 1.0 CEU
  • A Matter of Balance – 6.0 CEUs
  • Tobacco Cessation – 4.0 CEUs
  • Cancer Navigation – 5.0 CEUs
  • Overview of Healthy South Texas – 1.0 CEU
  • Asthma & Healthy Homes – 3.0 CEUs
  • Mental Health Certification Curriculum – 160 credit hours

Other Accomplishments & Celebrations

  • Marivel Sanchez joined our training center team through the ACTION project in April.
  • Blanca Macareno joined our training center full-time in June.
  • We transitioned to a new online learning management system, Moodle, this fall.
  • The CCHD implemented a new travel management system, Concur, this fall as well.
  • Paula Saldana named Outstanding CHW of the Year by the APHA CHW Section in November.

Projects

Madison Outreach and Services through Telehealth (MOST)
o Funder: Office of Rural Health Policy
o Summary: In partnership with local stakeholders in Madison County, CCHD and the NCHWTC held a series of interviews, meetings, and focus groups to explore the development of a CHW model to meet the healthcare and social service needs of underserved Hispanic residents of the area. Based on this feedback, we developed a condensed 32-hour “CHW 101” curriculum.

ACTION (Access to Cancer Treatment Information, Outreach, and Navigation) for CHWs
o Funder: Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas
o Summary: Building on the successes of previous SPH CPRIT projects (EPICO & C-STEP), the NCHWTC developed, revised, packaged, and disseminated cancer education and navigation training for CHWs. Trainings are available in-person and online, and partnerships allow the trainings to reach a broader audience through an affiliation model.

Healthy South Texas Initiative

o Funder: State of Texas
o Summary: The Healthy South Texas Initiative encompasses 27 counties and multiple projects focusing on diabetes, asthma, infectious diseases, and wellness. The NCHWTC is leading the CHW Task Force within HST, coordinating five CHW Workshops in Laredo, McAllen, Victoria, Corpus Christi, and Lake Jackson between July and November.

Working on Wellness
o Funder: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
o Summary: The WOW project focuses on reducing obesity through improving access to healthy food retail and opportunities for physical activity. NCHWTC team members are leading community-based education and outreach activities, developing curricula, and working with coalitions to improve policy, systems, and environmental determinants of wellness.

Tobacco Cessation
o Funder: Department of State Health Services
o Summary: Starting with an underutilized, English-language tobacco cessation training for clinical providers, the NCHWTC CHWs and instructors revised, adapted, and expanded the training into a DSHS-certified CEU for CHWs, available in-person and online, in English and in Spanish. The team has implemented the training across the state and actively marketed the online resources to stakeholders nationally.

UTRGV Collaboration
o Funder: United Health Foundation, through University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
o Summary: In partnership with UTRGV and South Texas College, NCHWTC revised a lapsed certification curriculum to generate an updated, behavioral health focused certification curriculum for STC, which was re-approved as a DSHS-certified training center in September. NCHWTC also offered an in-person CHW instructor certification course and ongoing technical assistance to support UTRGV and STC outreach activities in Cameron and Hidalgo Counties

https://www.aspph.org/texas-am-faculty-named-outstanding-community-health-worker-by-apha/

Ms. Paula Saldaña has been selected the 2016 Outstanding Community Health Worker by the American Public Health Association (APHA) Community Health Worker (CHW) Section. Saldaña was chosen from a competitive field of national and international nominees.

Saldana Friday Letter[1]
[Photo: Ms. Paula Saldaña]

A Texas certified CHW and CHW instructor, Ms. Saldaña is a training specialist with the National Community Health Worker Training Center (NCHWTC) housed within the Center for Community Health Development at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. Through multiple Center projects funded by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services, she has delivered community-based training, education and outreach in South Texas. With over 20 years experience as a CHW, her bilingual, bicultural background and expertise in curriculum development, program planning, in-person and online training and community capacity building have greatly benefited NCHWTC and Texas A&M in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

“I am truly and honestly thrilled to receive this award,” stated Ms. Saldaña. “If I, as a promotora, am able to make a person’s life a little better, I feel that I am rewarded every day.”

She has been recognized nationally on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Esther B. Holder Award from the Center for Sustainable Health Outreach Unity for her commitment and passion for serving her community.

Ms. Saldaña will receive the award at the Annual APHA Meeting in Denver, Colorado on October 31.

The National CHW Training Center had a record-setting year in 2014! Highlights include:

– Teaching five certification classes (two online CHW certification classes, one in-person CHW certification class at UT-Brownsville, and two online, self-paced CHW instructor certification classes)

– Teaching four in-person workshops (Breast & Cervical Cancer CEUs in Bryan, Texas; Diabetes, Obesity, Nutrition, & Exercise CEUs in San Diego, California, and El Paso, Texas; Fall Prevention CEUs in Arlington, Texas)

– Presenting and/or exhibiting at four state/national conferences (HPV & Cervical Cancer Summit in Houston, Texas; CHW Unity Conference in Baltimore, Maryland;
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana; Texas Gulf Coast CHW/Promotora Association’s Annual Conference in Houston, Texas).

– Receiving national recognition for NCHWTC staff – Paula received an honorable mention for the Esther B. Holderby Outstanding CHW Award in May 2014.

– Receiving a CDC-funded Obesity Prevention Grant to work in Hidalgo County as part of a partnership with the School of Public Health and AgriLife Extension

– Establishing an affiliation agreement with Coastal Bend Health Education Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, so that their CHW instructors can teach using the NCHWTC curriculum

– Revamping the NCHWTC’s online presence, including a brand-new website: http://nchwtc.tamhsc.edu and a new online learning management system: http://tamhsc.blackboard.com

– Adding two new self-paced CEU modules online (Diabetes, Obesity, Nutrition & Exercise; Fall Prevention)

The training center looks forward to building on the past year’s progress and continuing this momentum in 2015.

September is Fall Prevention Month and to mark the occasion, the NCHWTC collaborated with the Program on Healthy Aging (PHA) and the Texas Falls Prevention Coalition to host in-person events and online trainings across the state.

An in-person workshop took place on Monday, September 29, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Arlington Sub-Courthouse. The event was open to all Dallas-Fort Worth area health educators, community health workers, and other individuals with an interest in fall prevention. The 46 participants received eight continuing education units certified by the Department of State Health Services’ Community Health Worker Training and Certification Program.

By facilitating a workshop designed to educate and train residents about fall prevention strategies, PHA and NCHWTC gave CHWs, at-risk Texans, and their caregivers the tools to prevent falls in their own communities.

Interested individuals who were unable to attend the Arlington training can still access Fall Prevention modules online through the NCHWTC website: http://nchwtc.tamhsc.edu/fall-prevention-curriculum/. The free training modules are also approved as certified continuing education units for Community Health Workers.

Falls crop photo

On July 31 and August 1, the NCHWTC traveled to El Paso, Texas to provide training to 70 CHWs. The training event was hosted by the National Rural Health Association.

Katharine Nimmons, the center director, and Denise Adame, an affiliated instructor and former graduate assistant with the center, delivered “Practical Tips for Getting it D.O.N.E. (Diabetes, Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise)” on Thursday afternoon, July 31 and Friday morning, August 1. The training was delivered entirely in Spanish, and all participants received 5 certified CEUs.

The D.ON.E. training describes practical strategies CHWs can utilize in their outreach work to address common chronic diseases and health behaviors facing their communities. This training evolved from feedback from CHWs saying that while they have knowledge and information regarding the most common chronic diseases and poor health behaviors, what they really need is assistance relating to practical, easy to follow strategies that will improve the health of the residents they serve.

The CHWs in El Paso enthusiastically participated in activities designed to convey these practical tips, including role play scenarios, group skits, a jeopardy review game, and interactive discussions. It was a dynamic and rewarding training, and CHWs from across Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico were able to learn from each other as well as from the instructors.

The NCHWTC is in the process of adapting the in-person D.O.N.E. training to an online format, so that CHWs elsewhere will have the opportunity to access these CEUs. More news to come!

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The director of the National CHW Training Center, Dr. Julie St. John, led a two-day Women’s Health Leadership Institute training in Brownsville, Texas on March 26 – 27. Thirteen community health workers from across the state participated in the workshop designed to help them create and implement community action projects. The hands-on, interactive training  taught students how to use a public health systems approach to reduce health disparities and chronic diseases in their communities.

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The National CHW Training Center participated in the 8th Annual CHW Conference in Houston, Texas on March 14th as an exhibitor. The conference was hosted by the Texas Gulf Coast CHW/Promotores Network, and the theme was CHWs Working Toward Social Justice. The Training Center shared information about the CHW and CHW instructor training opportunities available online and in-person. The event was a great opportunity to engage with other CHWs and allies in the region. The picture below shows Katy Nimmons, center manager, hosting the Training Center’s exhibition table.

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COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER (CHW) WORKSHOP in BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS

March 26-27, 2014 at the UT School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus (80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520). Workshop hours are 8am-5pm. Selected participants must attend both days.

  • Are you an experienced CHW who wants to make a difference in your community?
  • Are you interested in learning how to be more effective in addressing social determinants of health in your community?
  • Do you want to learn new skills which can help you become a more effective leader?
  • Do you want to gain the skills to help you successfully implement a solution to a public health problem in your community?

If you answered yes to these questions, the Women’s Health Leadership Institute’s (WHLI) Community Health Worker Workshop may be right for you.

What is the WHLI?

WHLI is a national initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (DHHS-OWH). The purpose is to train and support experienced Community Health Workers in leadership development to enhance their capacity to influence change in their communities.

What does the CHW Workshop cost?

The workshop and all materials are free. NOTE: Applicants are responsible for their own travel.

What else do I need to know?

Everyone who completes the training will be expected to implement a Community Action Project using the skills they gained. (See CHW FAQs and CAP Guidelines for more information)

How do I apply?

Please see the attached WHLI CHW Application for more details and instructions. Please submit your application by March 10th, 2014 (10:00 pm). Selected participants will be notified by March 12th, 2014.

Questions? Please email jastjohn@srph.tamhsc.edu and denise.larue@harrishealth.org