259862 An Innovative Community Health Worker Training Program for Delta Mississippi: Promoting Health and Reducing Health-related Cost

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mohammad Shahbazi, PhD, MPH, MCHES , School of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Brandon, MS
Hassan Joulaei, MPH, DrPH (student) , School of Health Sciences, SUMS and Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Zahra Sarraf, MD , Ob/Gyn and Gyno-Oncology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
David Brown, EdD, MCHES , School of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
National research indicates Mississippi is last, or next to last, in state rankings regarding health outcomes, health system performance and the potential for children to live long, healthy lives. The practices of applying the failed intervention strategies and policies over and over are not making a dent in the problem. In fact, some health outcomes are even becoming worse in spite of investment of millions of state/federal dollars over the past ten years. Public and private partnership was formed in 2009 to establish a global community health worker program that would operate as a component of an integrated primary health care system for rural Mississippi. As a component of this system, health houses staffed with community health workers (they are recruited and trained for 600 hours and are certified by an accredited public health program) are contributing to their communities' positive health outcomes. The community health worker undergo competency-based training that include topics such as community health concept to understanding social determinants of health to communicable/non-communicable diseases, health promotion/disease prevention and commuter applications combined with a month-long “hand on” fieldwork. Recognized and incorporated into the Pan American World Health Organization's Regional Technician Training Program, this community health work program has the potential to become a standard training program for the Delta Region's rural communities. This presentation will explain various components of this CHW training program and its unique features. It will also explain its operation within an integrated primary health care system that can promote health and reduce cost.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
It defines community health worker roles within an integrated primary health care system It explains curriculum development List various courses and shows how competency-based trained and certified community health workers can improve health outcome and reduce health indicators such as infant mortality rate.

Keywords: Community Health Programs, Certification

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical anthropologist and teach public health and behavioral health promotion and education courses. I am currently directing a global community health worker training program, which I have established through a collaborative effort. I have a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology, a master degree in public health and am a graduate-level certified health education specialist.
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.