A Community Health Worker Training Resource

A Community Health Worker Training Resource for Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke

In the United States, community health workers (CHWs) help us meet our national Healthy People goals by conducting community-level activities and interventions that promote health and prevent diseases and disability. CHWs are trusted, respected members of the community who serve as a bridge between their community members and professionals in the field of health and human services. They provide an important service by establishing and improving relationships between these professionals and members of the community. As community health educators and role models, CHWs promote, encourage, and support positive, healthful self-management behaviors among their peers. As community advocates, CHWs help people get the services and follow-up care they need. CHWs serve as patient and community advocates, as “coaches” for disease management, and as patient “navigators,” guiding patients through the health care system. They also strengthen their community’s understanding and acceptance of medical care. The recognition of their successes has led to recommendations that CHWs be included as members of health care teams to help eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

A Community Health Worker Training Resource for Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke (2015) is an evidence-based, plain-language training resource and reference for CHWs as well as a curriculum that health educators, nurses, and other instructors can use to train CHWs. The updated resource has 15 chapters that show how CHWs can help individuals prevent or manage heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, depression and stress, and other lifestyle risk factors. Also included are sections about working with children and teens and helping individuals talk to their doctor and take medicines properly.

Featuring the latest CDC strategies and colorful, relevant images, this updated training tool can help train CHWs who are being integrated into health care teams. It includes many relevant links to websites and products as well as hands-on activities for CHWs. In particular, the overview and blood pressure chapters have been significantly enhanced, including photo instructions on blood pressure measurement with manual and electronic monitors. The training resource reflects the latest research and national guidelines on heart disease and stroke and their prevention.

Because the training resource contains some technical information, it is recommended for CHWs who already have some experience in their profession. The training resource is not a replacement for basic CHW training, which addresses core skills (See A Summary of the National Community Health Advisor Study, Chapter 3: Core Roles and Competencies of Community Health Advisors; May 1998 University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, in Appendix A for more information).

The CHW training resource references the Web sites and products of other federal agencies and of private or not-for-profit organizations. A reference in the training resource to a specific Web site, commercial product, process, service, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. government or by CDC.

We thank you for your interest in this new resource. We welcome feedback on your experiences in putting it to use. Please send your comments on this training resource to Contact CDC-INFO.

Note: Please reference the latest guidance from the American Heart Association on manual blood pressure measurement procedures as guidance in the manual may be out-of-date.

Accreditation Statements

CECH: Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 9.5 total Category I continuing education contact hours. Maximum advanced level continuing education contact hours available are 0 CDC provider number GA0082.

Category: This activity has been designated as Knowledge-Based.

Disclosure: In compliance with continuing education requirements, all presenters must disclose any financial or other associations with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters as well as any use of unlabeled product(s) or product(s) under investigational use.

CDC, our planners, content experts, and their spouses/partners wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters. Planners have reviewed content to ensure there is no bias.

Content will not include any discussion of the unlabeled use of a product or a product under investigational use.

CDC does not accept commercial support.

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