218189 Participatory development of a community health worker training institute in post-Katrina New Orleans

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ashley B. Wennerstrom, MPH , Community Affairs and Health Policy, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Benjamin Springgate, MD, MPH , RAND Corporation, New Orleans, LA
Community health workers (CHWs) are capable of reducing health disparities and healthcare costs, making them particularly valuable in a post-disaster environment with limited health care infrastructure and financial resources. CHWs benefit from training in core competencies vital to their work, but opportunities for such skill development have been limited in the post-Katrina environment. Building upon previous community-based participatory endeavors with local CHWs and community agencies, we developed a training institute that aims to create a skilled CHW workforce in New Orleans and other areas of Louisiana. Based on input from a survey of CHWs and their employers, as well as a CHW community conference, we formulated an 8-module training curriculum to develop CHW core competencies, with particular emphasis on development of community-level advocacy skills in a post-disaster setting. Topic-specific modules for mental health, maternal health, and disaster recovery and preparedness reflect public health concerns and opportunities for CHW intervention.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify three ways in which CHWs contribute to post-disaster recovery 2. Describe how use of community-based participatory methods can contribute to the development of a CHW training curriculum 3. Discuss the role of advocacy training in effecting institutional and local policy changes

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee community health worker training initiatives at Tulane University School of Medicine, Office of Community Affairs and Health Policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.