Community Health Worker Training
COCC to offer community health worker training that leads to Oregon certification
With recent approval from the Oregon Health Authority, Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is now an official instructional body for the state’s certified community health worker (CHW) training.
Beginning this fall term, COCC will offer the 120-hour, six-credit CHW training, which will align with the college’s public health career pathway. The 11-week class involves a combination of online learning and in-person instruction at COCC’s Redmond campus. Now through July 1, the Central Oregon Health Council is providing scholarship support. For more information and the scholarship application, visit cocc.edu/programs/public-health.
Certified community health workers provide culturally appropriate health education, connect residents with social supports and advocate for health needs. Studies have shown that their work improves health outcomes, reduces health care costs and advances health equity.
There are no academic prerequisites for the COCC training, explained Sarah Baron, assistant professor of public health. “This is ideal training for community members who have a lived experience and a real commitment to their community and helping people,” she said. “After successfully completing the CHW training, participants can register and become an OHA-approved community health worker and join the front-line public health workforce connecting people to services and advocating for health equity.”
Baron was appointed this month to the community college workforce development group of Oregon’s Traditional Health Worker Commission, whose mission is high-quality, culturally competent health care for all Oregon residents. According to the Oregon Community Health Worker Association, founded in 2011, the state of Oregon is a national leader in developing the community health worker model.