CHW Field Basics I:

CHW Scope of Practice & Statewide Curriculum
Overview of CHW core role and scope of practice
Review of MN CHW certificate curriculum
Overview of how CHWs reduce health inequities
Review the Triple Aim and CHWs
Who is in the audience? What would you like to
know today?
Community Health Workers (CHWs) come from the
communities they serve, building trust and vital
relationships. This trusting relationship enables the
CHWs to be effective links between their own
communities and systems of care. This crucial
relationship significantly lowers health disparities in
Minnesota because CHWs: provide access to services,
improve the quality and cultural competence of care,
create an effective system of chronic disease
management, and increase the health knowledge and
self sufficiency of underserved populations.
Critical Links: Community Health Workers
DVD produced by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
Minnesota Foundation
Available to be viewed on YouTube
Role 1: Bridge the gap between communities
and the health and social service systems.
 Role 2: Navigate the health and human
services system
 Role 3: Advocate for individual and
community needs
 Role 4: Provide direct services.
 Role 5: Build individual and community
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a
Standard Occupational Classification for CHWs.
The umbrella term "community health worker"
refers to individuals alternately known as outreach
worker, Community Health Representative,
promotor (a) de salud, and patient navigator.
Pilot of CHW curriculum began in 2005 with an 11
credit certificate program
Curriculum was updated in 2010 to a 14 credits
Curriculum is a model program in U.S.
Curriculum is offered free to higher education
institutions in MN
Credits provide educational pathway
Core Competencies
Role, Advocacy, and Outreach (2 cr)
Organization and Resources (2 cr)
Legal and Ethical Responsibilities (1 cr)
Coordination, Documentation and Reporting (1 cr)
Teaching and Building Capacity (2 cr)
Communication and Cultural Competence (2 cr)
Health Promotion Competencies (3 cr)
Student Field Internship (2 cr)
Role, Advocacy, and Outreach
This course focuses on the CHW’s personal safety, self
care and personal wellness and on the promotion of
health and disease prevention for clients.
Organization and Resources: Community and
Personal Strategies
This course focuses on the CHW’s knowledge of the
community and the ability to prioritize and organize
work. Emphasis is on the use of and critical analysis
of resources and on problem solving.
Teaching and Capacity Building
This course focuses on the CHW’s role in teaching and
increasing the capacity of the community and of the
client to access the health care system. Emphasis is on
establishing healthy lifestyles and clients developing
agreements to take responsibility for achieving health
goals. Students learn about and practice methods for
planning, developing and implementing plans with
clients to promote wellness.
Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
This course focuses on the legal and ethical dimensions
of the CHWs’ role. Included are boundaries of the
CHW position, agency policies, confidentiality, liability,
mandatory reporting and cultural issues that can
influence legal and ethical responsibilities.
Coordination, Documentation and Reporting
This course focuses on the importance and ability of the
CHW to gather, document and report on client visits
and other activities. The emphasis is on appropriate,
accurate and clear documentation with consideration of
legal and agency requirements.
Communication and Cultural Competence
This course focuses on the context and skills in
communication to assist the CHW in effectively
interacting with clients of diverse backgrounds, their
families and a range of healthcare providers. Students
learn about communicating verbally and non-verbally,
listening and interviewing, networking, building trust
and working in teams. Students practice
communication skills in the context of a community’s
culture and the cultural implications that can affect
client communication.
Healthy Lifestyles
This course focuses on the knowledge and skills a CHW
needs to assist clients in realizing healthy eating
patterns, controlling their weight, integrating exercise
into their lives, taking their medications, talking with
their doctors, controlling substances such as tobacco,
managing stress, achieving life balance, and attaining
personal and family wellness.
Health Promotion Competencies
◦ Healthy Lifestyles
◦ Heart Disease and Stroke
◦ Maternal/Child/Teen
◦ Diabetes
◦ Cancer
◦ Oral Health
◦ Mental Health
Students work in selected agencies to fully apply and
integrate what they have learned to ensure an effective
transition into the CHW role.
Mapping of community
Example: Living near a freeway
or road with lots of truck traffic
Asthma from diesel pollution;
noise disturbs sleep
Plenty of parks
Lots of fast food restaurants
Minneapolis Community and Technical College: F2F
Normandale Community College: F2F (new 2014)
Northwest Technical College: online hybrid
Rochester Community and Technical College: F2F
St. Catherine University: hybrid
South Central College: completely online
Summit Academy OIC: F2F
Better Care
Better Health
Lower Cost
Economic analysis published by Wilder Research Center
in June 2012 found that every dollar invested
in CHW cancer outreach and prevention saves society
$2.30. (Cleary, 2012)
African American – diabetes, hypertension
Latina – prenatal
Native American – diabetes
Native American –colorectal screening
(CDC, 2014)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). How the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) supports community health workers in chronic disease prevention and health
promotion. Retrieved from
Cleary, J. (2012). Community health workers: Bridging barriers to care. Minnesota Health Care News.
10(11). Retrieved from
Sabo, S., Ingram, M., Reinschmidt, K. M., Schachter, K., Jacobs, L., de Zapien, J. G., . . . Carvajal, S. (2013).
Predictors and a Framework for Fostering Community Advocacy as a Community Health Worker Core
Function to Eliminate Health Disparities. American Journal of Public Health, 103(7), e67-e73.