Community Health Worker Program

Become a Community Health Worker!

Take a step toward broader career opportunities, higher wages, a rewarding profession, and greater economic self-sufficiency.

What is a CHW? How much do CHWs earn?

Community Health Workers help neighbors live healthier lives by accessing and navigating the healthcare and social services systems, so that they get the care they need.

Community health workers work in all geographic settings, including rural, urban and metropolitan areas.  Although their roles vary depending on locale and cultural setting, they are most often found working in underprivileged marginalized communities where people may have limited resources; lack access to quality health care; lack the means to pay for health care; speak English fluently; or have cultural beliefs, values and behaviors different from those of the dominant Western health care system. In these communities, community health workers play an integral role in helping systems become more culturally appropriate and relevant to the people the systems serve.

Community health workers typically have deep roots or shared life experiences in the communities they serve. They share similar values, ethnic background and socio-economic status and usually the same language as the people they serve.

The community health worker serves as a bridge between the community and the health care, government and social service systems.

The community health worker’s responsibilities may include:

  • Helping individuals, families, groups and communities develop their capacity and access to resources, including health insurance, food, housing, quality care and health information
  • Facilitating communication and client empowerment in interactions with health care/social service systems
  • Helping health care and social service systems become culturally relevant and responsive to their service population
  • Helping people understand their health condition(s) and develop strategies to improve their health and well being
  • Helping to build understanding and social capital to support healthier behaviors and lifestyle choices
  • Helping to build understanding and social capital to support healthier behaviors and lifestyle choices
  • Delivering health information using culturally appropriate terms and concepts
  • Linking people to health care/social service resources
  • Providing informal counseling, support and follow-up
  • Advocating for local health needs
  • Providing health services, such as monitoring blood pressure and providing first aid
  • Making home visits to chronically ill patients, pregnant women and nursing mothers, individuals at high risk of health problems and the elderly
  • Translating and interpreting for clients and health care/social service providers

Community health workers go by many titles, depending on where they work, who they work for and what they do. Common titles include health coach, community health advisor, family advocate, health educator, liaison, promoter, outreach worker, peer counselor, patient navigator, health interpreter and public health aide. In Spanish-speaking communities, community health workers are often referred to as health promoters or promotores(as) de salud.

The success of CHWs has led many government agencies, nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups and health care providers to create paid positions for community health workers to help reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the persistent disparities in health care and health outcomes in underprivileged communities.

Community Health Workers (CHW) Earnings

California Annual Mean Wage for CHWs: $52,940

National Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020

National employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Community Health Workers:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage 
(2)
Wage RSE (3)
58,670 2.3 % $ 22.12 $ 46,000 0.7 %

Community Health Workers (21-1094) Promote health within a community by assisting individuals to adopt healthy behaviors. Serve as an advocate for the health needs of individuals by assisting community residents in effectively communicating with healthcare providers or social service agencies. Act as liaison or advocate and implement programs that promote, maintain, and improve individual and overall community health. May deliver health-related preventive services such as blood pressure, glaucoma, and hearing screenings. May collect data to help identify community health needs. Excludes “Health Education Specialists” (21-1091).

This information and more can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211094.htm.

 

Registration

Registration deadline: September 20, 2021
Registration: Register online here or contact Orlando Elizondo at 831.296.2220.

Program Details

  • 144-hour course over a 7-month period: October 4, 2021 – April 2, 2022
  • Online classes: 1-2 evenings per week, 5:30-7:30pm
  • Internship: 5-week internship at a local clinic or hospital with payment in the form of a stipend
  • Certificate: After successful completion of the program, receive a Monterey County industry-recognized certificate
  • Peer and mentor support: Small group virtual sessions and monthly in-person gatherings
  • Job placement: Job readiness coaching and job search support
  • Professional development: Networking and ongoing training opportunities during and after the program

What You Will Learn

  • How to connect the patient to healthcare or social services that will meet their needs.
  • How to evaluate health care and social service delivery systems, including eligibility and community resources, in order to provide appropriate linkage services to clients.
  • How to use cultural humility practices by working with diverse clients and communities.
  • How to design, prepare, and facilitate group health education trainings or presentations.
  • How to excel as part of a clinical team that includes doctors, nurses, and administrators.

Program Requirements

  • Must meet all eligibility requirements (see below)
  • Must complete an application: register online here or download a printable application here
  • Must be able to attend weekly nighttime courses—total of 144 hours over 7 months
  • Must be able to complete a 100-hour internship

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be 18 years old
  • Must have a High School Diploma or Equivalent
  • Must be a citizen or noncitizen authorized to work in the United States
  • Must be able to read, write, and communicate in English at least a 6th Grade level
  • Must meet be registered for Military Service (males only)
  • Must be able to operate a computer and be comfortable with an array of standard computer applications (Word, email, Zoom, etc.)
Community Health Worker

Space is limited – Enroll online or by calling the America’s Job Center of California:

Orlando Elizondo
831.296.2220

Monday – Friday,
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
344 Salinas Street, Suite 203
Salinas, CA 93901

This program is a regional joint venture between the Monterey County Workforce Development Board, UCSF, Monterey Peninsula College, and Hartnell College.

Community Health Worker sitting at computer desk
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