Online Program

Developing a Mentorship Program to Advance the Practice of CHWs

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Marion Banzhaf, Division of Community Health Promotion - Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL
Sornia Joseph, CCHW, AS., Managed Care, Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc., Miami, FL
Lisa Hamilton, PhD, Voix La Tortue, North Miami, FL
Mentorship programs bridge the gap between education and practice and situate experienced CHWs as experts. Beyond modeling, mentoring creates an opportunity for CHWs to play an active role in the professional and personal development of a less experienced person – a tribute to the mentor-mentee dyad. Peer mentoring helps newly trained CHWs gain confidence, and allows a trainee to observe best practices of an experienced CHW.

Successful mentors are rewarded by the growth and achievement of their mentee and advancement of CHW practice; there is mutuality in the sharing of knowledge and information. Mentees may also assist mentors with their work, learning from mentors but also providing a service. 

The Florida Community Health Worker Coalition (FCHWC) Practice sub-group developed a Mentorship Program. A statewide certification program began in Florida in January 2015, and CHWs in the FCHWC recognized the need for a Mentoring Program. The Practice sub-group wrote a Mentoring manual, a letter to community-based organizations that employ CHWs to recruit participants, and an evaluation form.  The Mentorship program is being piloted in Miami, linking students completing coursework at Miami-Dade College with the many organizations who employ CHWs.

The Florida CHW Mentorship Program will contribute to significant achievements in programs related to policy, research, program development, presentation skills, and leadership. It will validate the experience of CHWs and enhance their relationship to other CHWs.

The authors are an experienced CHW who is the co-chair of the FCHWC Practice sub-group, a supervisor of CHWs, and the FCHWC facilitator, employed by the DOH.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how CHWs are involved in creating a Mentorship Program. Describe the development of a CHW Mentorship Program. Evaluate the effectiveness of a CHW Mentorship Program.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Community Health Workers and Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a founding member of the Florida CHW Coalition and the co-developer of the Mentoring Program, and the CHW leader of the Practice Sub-Group of the FCHWC. I have been a CHW for 10 years.
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.