Capacity Building for Arizona’s Community Health Workers
In January 2012, SEAHEC and partners launched the Arizona Healthy Hearts Initiative, a first step in building a broad based community health worker collaboration network. The network linked Arizona’s American Indian Community Health Representatives and Latino Promotores de Salud, connecting them to the AzCHOW Network, and providing them with resources for collaboration. This network will provide a foundation for future community health worker work force capacity building efforts.
Healthy Hearts Map
The initiative, which created two teams of heart health educators, and trained 142 community health workers across the state, was funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute ( NHLBI,) and the Altarum Institute as part of a national effort to demonstrate the efficacy of using community health workers to diminish health disparities in underserved communities. The Community Health Worker Health Disparities Initiative awarded SEAHEC $100,000 to conduct 15 trainings across the state, to build an online networking forum, and to collect and evaluate data on the trainings, and on Arizona’s community health worker needs for computer literacy training and access to collaboration tools. The Arizona Healthy Hearts Initiative utilized the the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute‘s (NHLBI) curricula for lay health educators. Our partners, The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and Mariposa Community Health Center conducted pilot trainings for the 16 master trainers. Half trained with ITCA using the NHLBI American Indian curriculum, Honoring the Gift of Heart Health, and half trained with MCHC, using the English and Spanish versions, Su Corazón su Vida/Your Heart Your Life. With technical support from SEAHEC, AzCHOW, ITCA and the U of A PRC, the master trainers collaborated with each other in implementing trainings in their home communities, and at the AzCHOW 10th Annual Community Health Worker Training Conference in Casa Grande, AZ, where seven of our master trainers came together to provide three simultaneous trainings in both curricula. Trainings were provided in both Spanish and English. A total of 142 community health workers were trained in the NHLBI heart health curriculum. Community training partners included:
The community health workers who participated in trainings completed pre and post training surveys, as well as surveys on collaboration and computer literacy needs. Ninety two percent rated training positively, 93% intend to change health habits, 60% increased teaching confidence level, and 100% increased heart health knowledge.
Our project on the NIH website: