Community Health Workers Graduate in Allied Neighborhood
From the Allied Wellness Center
The Allied neighborhood and Allied Wellness Center proudly announce that 6 women from the area were recently certified as Community Health Workers after completing a rigorous program offered by Milwaukee Area Health Education Center, an established provider of this training since 2010. The graduates are: Regina Smith, Kim Stalling, Gloria Farr, Willie Mae Conklin, and Jacqueline Stevens.
The program consisted of 15 weeks of online classes followed by 6 months of 1-1 coaching. Community Health Workers are trained to act as a “bridge” between members of their communities and the health care delivery system. The participants quickly put their training to use by providing health support to individuals in their neighborhood, by informing others about COVID, by publicizing and assisting at several local vaccination clinics and by becoming active in the delivery of fresh produce and other food resources in Allied during the pandemic through the Allied Fresh delivery program.
CHW Training has clear objectives for its participants who must demonstrate the following skills upon training completion:
- Describe the role of a CHW
- Describe a healthy community and the factors affecting its health
- Explain the implications of health statistics to community health and development
- Discuss & apply the strategies/approaches necessary to educate members of the community
- Serve as part of a health care team in service to individuals and families in the community
- Demonstrate acquired knowledge, skills and behaviors of a CHW.
Prior to enrolling in the AHEC program, several of the graduates had already participated in a Community Health Worker introductory program specifically developed for Allied and taught by local medical professionals dedicated to community health: RN Shannon Hattenhauer and Dr. Jonas Lee.
For both training programs, the Allied Wellness Center was able to fund program costs, electronic equipment and service, and provide financial support to the trainees from grant and donation resources. U.W. Health
Systems provided financial support for electronic technology and the
Collaborative Center for Health Equality’s Sarah Esmond was invaluable for securing slots in the online training programs for both groups of trainees.
Regina Smith, who participated in both the introductory program as well as the AHEC certification CHW program, said, “I learned a lot. I learned a lot about client centered organization and understanding the client’s position and needs. I learned about protecting client privacy concerns and how to be safe when meeting with clients by including a partner (if approved by client) or meeting in public places.” Regina has worked with several vaccine clinics in the neighborhood as well as the Allied Fresh food program. She also works with individual clients and hopes to combine her new training with prior experience in the medical field to find employment as a health paraprofessional.
The participants managed three hour weekly classes plus homework while maintaining jobs and families. Currently, there are 3 more women in the AHEC program: Bernadine Ward, Bresha Green and LaToya Murray.