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

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 NCHWTC attended and presented at the 14th Annual CHW Unity Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on May 21 – 23. Around 250 Community Health Workers and allies from across the country participated in the conference, designed to address the ‘Triple Aim: Access to Care, Reducing Costs, and Promoting Healthy Communities.’ Katharine Nimmons represented the NCHWTC by leading two workshops and hosting a roundtable session over the course of the conference.

On Wednesday afternoon, Katharine guided a full room of participants through an interactive skill building workshop focusing on cultivating a passionate and committed CHW workforce in the face of burnout. The session was titled: “Tips for Maintaining CHWs’ Passion and Preventing Burnout”, and focused on sharing lessons learned through NCHWTC research and outreach activities. Session participants contributed suggestions from their own experiences as well. It was a dynamic and engaging 90 minutes!

On Thursday, Katharine spoke about the center’s recently concluded two-year cancer education intervention, EPICO, at a roundtable session entitled “Techniques and Results from a CHW-led Cancer Education Intervention in South Texas”. The roundtable highlighted the steps in the EPICO project’s development, implementation, evaluation, and findings, delivered to an audience of CHWs and employers. Later that afternoon, Katharine led participants through a series of relaxation techniques in a personal development session.

Also on Thursday, Ms. Paula Saldana was recognized as an honorable mention for the Esther M. Holderby Dedicated CHW Award. This award is a testament to Paula’s great impact on her own community. The NCHWTC is lucky to have her as an instructor!

Overall, the Unity Conference was a wonderful opportunity to share the work NCHWTC engages in and supports in Texas with other CHWs, training centers, and stakeholders from across the United States.

Forty CHWs from across Texas received training in Cervical Cancer prevention and detection, treatment, and survivorship education at the 3rd Annual HPV & Cervical Cancer Summit January 22nd in Houston.

The National Community Health Worker Training Center within the Center for Community Health Development, part of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, delivered the CHW training component of the Summit.

The summit was convened by: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Gynecology Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, The Cervical Comprehensive Cancer Control Workgroup, Cervical Cancer-Free Texas, National Cervical Cancer Coalition – Houston Chapter, and Houston Community College Coleman College for Health Sciences. Including CHWs in this gathering is a reflection of the importance of community-based outreach and activism in reducing the incidence and impact of Cervical Cancer in Texas.

CHW Instructors Dr. Julie St. John, Ms. Katharine Nimmons, Ms. Paula Saldana, and Ms. Dinorah Martinez provided 5 hours of certified CEUs to CHWs attending the conference. CCHD staff used culturally tailored curricula and materials they developed to train CHWs on Cervical Cancer prevention and detection, treatment, and survivorship in three breakout sessions during the morning of the summit.

After a luncheon featuring Cervical Cancer survivors sharing their testimonies, the National CHW Training Center instructors presented lessons learned from the two year EPICO (Education to Promote Improved Cancer Outcomes) cancer education project funded by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. Between 2011 and 2013, the EPICO project reached over 700 CHWs and 5000 residents across the state of Texas.

Approximately 300 people attended the conference, including the 40 CHWs who received training from CCHD National CHW Training Center staff.