Course Description

This course is designed to provide state programs and other stakeholders with basic knowledge about Community Health Workers (CHWs), such as official definitions of CHWs, workforce development, and other topic areas. In addition, the course covers how states can become engaged in policy and systems change efforts to establish sustainability for the work of CHWs, including examples of states that have proven success in this arena.

The six-session course covers

  • CHWs’ roles and functions
  • Current status of the CHW occupation
  • Areas of public policy affecting CHWs
  • Credentialing CHWs
  • Sustainable funding for CHW positions
  • Examples of states successful in moving policy and systems change forward

The course sessions are self-paced. Completion time for each session is between 30–45 minutes. The user does not have to take each session in succession.

Technical Requirements

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7 browser (or higher)
  • JavaScript enabled
  • Popup blocker disabled
  • Broadband Internet connection (recommended for optimal loading times and course viewing)
  • Adobe Reader for PDF’s

Instructions for Completing Evaluations

  1. At the conclusion of each session, there is a five-minute survey to assess your satisfaction.
  2. Please click on the link, which goes to SurveyMonkey, and complete the survey.
  3. Click “Done” to submit your answers.

Course Developers

This course was a collaborative effort between the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP) and the REACH Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The primary author of this course is Carl Rush, MRP of Community Resources, LLC. The developers of the course are GEARS, Inc. and C2 Technologies. The course is provided free of charge from the DHDSP web site.

Disclosure Statement

CDC, our planners, and our content experts disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters.

This course does not include any discussion of the unlabeled use of a product or a product under investigational use.

The CDC does not receive commercial support for this activity. Launch the course >>


  • 4770 Buford Hwy, NE
    Mail Stop F-72
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
  • Information Line:800-CDC-INFO
    Fax: 770-488-8151


 Paving a Path to Advance the Community Health Workforce in New York State: A New Summary and Report   (Recommendations; values, scope of practice roles and tasks; training; funding, tables; 28 Pages) October 2011

Contact: Sergio Matos  Mobile: 917-653-9699

Preferred CHW Attributes

Scope of Practice: Roles and Tasks                        Preferred CHW Attributes


MiCHWA’s CHW 101 Toolkit:

Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance, or MiCHWA,
By Katie Mitchell, Project Coordinator
Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance

MiCHWA  We encourage others to use our fact sheets to share with colleagues and stakeholders about who CHWs are and why they are important. Need other CHW materials? Let know.

Building Your CHW 101 Toolkit  ( Thank You to MiCHWA for sharing this information!) To help facilitate conversations with stakeholders, MiCHWA has developed a CHW 101
Toolkit. This toolkit consists of several standard one-pagers and handouts that answer basic
questions about CHWs in the context of our state (Michigan). They also provide a platform on which to build conversation by providing stakeholders specific documents to ask questions about and giving them something concrete to take home and review. Additionally, we will add supplemental documents to our packets tailored to the specific stakeholder audience with which we are working.

In thinking about what you want to share with individuals or organizations in your state, ask
yourself the following:

• Who is my audience?
• What do they already know about CHWs?
• What sector or stakeholder group do they represent?
• How does their group connect to CHWs?
• How does this group or individual impact health and human service systems?
• How was this group or individual introduced to me or my group?
• What do I want to achieve by connecting to this audience?

In many cases, you may not be sure what your audience knows. The best thing you can do
is ask. Finding out what they know and what they are seeking to learn is essential for
anyone talking about CHWs. Disseminating accurate, timely information and raising awareness are key components to creating effective, sustainable change for CHWs in your state or community. 

Penn Center For Community Health Workers IMPaCT™ is an evidence-based CHW model for care 


Report of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Community Health Worker Advisory Council: Community Health Workers in Massachusetts: Improving Health Care and Public Health  ( 121 pages detailed study done over 2 years) by state level advisory council) Dec 2009



A Policy Research Project of The University of Arizona
Directed by E. Lee Rosenthal, MPH, and Funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Community Health Advisor


ahec logo

University of Arizona
Arizona Area Health Education Centers Program
1834 Mabel St. Tucson, AZ 85721
phone:(520) 626-4030
fax:(520) 626-4037

CHW-NEC Community Health Worker National Education Collaborative 


National Advisory Council
A national advisory council, which includes many CHW leaders in the field, provides significant guidance to the project. The advisors assist in developing recommendations of promising practices for CHW education.

CHW Co-Chairs
Durrell Fox (Massachusetts)
Yvonne Lacey (California)
CHW Members
Kimberly Brown(Florida)
Graciela Camarena(Texas)
Myrna Jarquin(Maryland)
Romelia Rodriquez(New York)
Cynthia Thomas (Arizona)
Valerie Starkey (Hawaii)
Mae Gilene Begay(NACHR)
Kimbro Talk(New Mexico)
Non-CHW Members
Nell Brownstein (Georgia)
Melinda Cordero(California)
Teresa Hines (Texas)
Agnes Hinton (Mississippi)
Cathy Stueckemann (Maryland)
The Expert Consultants
Sergio Matos,US-Caribbean HIV/AIDS Twinning Initiative, Brooklyn, NY
Sarah Redding, Community Health Access Project, Mansfield, OH
Carl Rush, CHW Institute, New Jersey AHEC Program, Stratford, NJ
Cindy Tsai, Community Health Works, Berkeley, CA
Ann Withorn, University of Massachusetts, College of Public and Community Service, Boston, MA

Welcome to this Community Health Worker National Education Collaborative website. We hope you will find important information here and the connections you need to assist in your development of CHW educational resources, services, curricula, and promising practice delivery strategies which are particularly responsive to community health service members of the nation’s health and human services delivery team. Learn more »

Coping Engine

The Coping Engine is a teaching tool intended to help people handle moments of distress with greater ease. It was originally developed in the 1990’s, at Stanford University Medical Center’s Department of Radiation Oncology by Patricia Fobair, LCSW, MPH. During Fobair’s experience with breast cancer in 1987, she felt confronted with negative feelings and defensive coping, less equipped to find solutions to the day-to-day problems that came along during treatment. It occurred to her that she had not learned to talk about negative feelings as a child; she would do well to face those feelings and thoughts. When moments of feeling ‘helpless’ arose, she realized that only “very small children are really helpless.” Adults have some action available to them, calling a friend, seeking advice, or problem solving.

Welcome to the Coping Engine. The coping circles will help you find solutions to problems that are causing you emotional distress. Sometimes all we know is that we feel upset, “out of control.” This is not comfortable and we do not want those feelings to last. Here, is a tool to start feeling better today. Take these steps to face your emotions, manage your fear, and move towards choices that will help you feel better, and direct you towards solutions to the underlying problem.

This website is designed to help you find solutions to problems causing you emotional distress.


TOOLKIT – Minnesota Department of Health – Community Health Worker Toolkit – A Guide for Employers – The toolkit focuses on CHWs.  Its purpose is to provide employers and prospective employers with practical guidance for organizational and practice integration of CHWs, and to understand the education and competencies of CHWs.

TOOLKIT – CDC – 2019 Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool – The PECAT can be used at the school district or school level to analyze curricula for all grades (K through 12).