270725 Community Health Worker Student-Based Workforce Survey of Sonoma County: Challenges, Benefits, & Results

Monday, October 29, 2012

Michael Whitaker, CHW , Community Health Worker Leadership Team, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Community Health Worker (CHW) Leadership Team has conducted a student leadership based survey (2011-2012) of Sonoma County community health organizations and agencies as well as their employees with the focus on examining how working CHWs are being utilized by their community and to improve the curriculum for training CHWs. The survey examines; CHW titles, positions, roles, the populations CHWs serve (i.e. rural, urban, ethnic, economic status,) the health issues being addressed, skills needed and necessary for CHWs, and services CHWs provided their community. The survey also collected information regarding the demographics of employed CHWs, and analyzes what skills and outreach strategies need to be taught to SRJC CHW students to tailor fit them for employment in existing and underutilized segments within their own community. The surveys were conducted in an open focus group settings, which yielded both employers, and employees from diverse working backgrounds in community health with vastly important networking, community and capacity building opportunities. This survey also provided CHW students with invaluable contact and networking with potential future employers and exposing students to the roles of existing CHWs. It is our intention to discuss the process, challenges, value, and results of this survey and to share the leadership building capacity of CHW students, in addition to educating Sonoma County's workforce on CHWs and their scope of practice.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain how student-lead workforce survey can be an effective tool in developing a Community Health Worker curriculum and increase networking opportunities for students and future employers. 2. Discuss the need for statistics on existing CHWs working within their communities. 3. Identify techniques to survey CHW employers and employees to enhance employment possibilities.

Keywords: Workforce, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working as a Community Health Worker providing the youth of my community with health education. I was also chosen for the Community Health Worker Leadership Team of my college. Though my work in this leadership position, I helped to develop a strategy, and followed with the implementation of a workforce survey of health agencies within my community, which has proven invaluable in developing a Community Health Worker curriculum for my school.
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.