A Community Health Worker helps bridge the gap between healthcare providers and underserved populations in need of care. They are a trusted member of and/or have a close understanding of the community served. A CHW serves as a link between the patient and health or social service agencies to improve access to services, quality of care, and strive to improve health outcomes.
The Community Health Worker training program is a short-term non-credit course that prepares students to conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health; provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling; and advocate for individuals and community health needs. Students receive a letter of completion upon successfully completing the course. In addition, upon successful completion of the course, students can apply for a CHW credential through the CHW Missouri Credentialing Board.
Throughout this online course, students will participate in discussions, collaborative projects, and an on-site clinical shadowing experience as they learn how to provide quality public service, how to navigate local community resources, as well as develop a deeper understanding of specific community-based cultural beliefs. Students will need to commit to 60 contact hours for a service learning project.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of a Community Health Workers is expected to increase 17 percent from 2020 to 2030. This is considered to be faster than all occupations average. Each year or on average it is projected to be about 16,100 openings for Community Health Workers and Health Education Specialists.
For Community Health Workers the middle annual wage was $42,000 in 2020 with the low earnings around $28,000 annually and the high earnings around $70,000 annually.
Students enrolling in this program must be at least 18-years old, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, be selected for the program and must work in Missouri at least 50 percent.