Community Health Worker Kick-off Meeting

by Seamus Taylor

I am just about two months into my internship with the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC) in Des Moines, and I’ve been having a great time! I’ve been applying all sorts of skills and knowledge I acquired throughout my MPH program, and I’m learning new things everyday about the great work CHWs do in local communities throughout Iowa.

Recently, I’ve been working with ICCC to develop a series of tracking tools that CHW apprentices can use to log their weekly training hours and client encounters. These tools allow the ICCC to monitor apprentice progress towards meeting training requirements, in addition to summarizing data that will be reported to the state to demonstrate the success of the apprenticeship program. Altogether, these tools will help to ensure the long-lasting success of the CHW apprenticeship program.

A little over a week ago, I attended a kick-off meeting for the 2019-2020 cohort of CHW apprentices in Des Moines. At this meeting, we worked on some team-building techniques, in addition to going over training and learning expectations, the format of the apprenticeship, and answering any questions that came up. Over the lunch hour, I got to directly apply my MPH and practicum coursework in health equity by presenting on the importance of health equity in the CHW role!

My presentation, titled “Health Equity: Why CHWs, Why Now?”, covered some of the fundamental concepts and theories surrounding health equity, in addition to generating some audience discussion about personal experiences with health equity and inequity. It was incredibly fulfilling to share my education in this way, and to directly apply my knowledge to teaching members of the public health workforce. I’m really looking forward to following up this presentation with my lengthier, in-depth discussion of health equity as a guest presenter for the CHW webinar training series.

Thanks for tuning in! Next time I’ll share more about the work I’m doing around what will become the CHW evaluation protocol.

Cheers,
Seamus

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