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CHWTraining Opens New Course on Breast Cancer Screening for 2020

Enrollment is now underway for the latest in a series of cutting-edge courses designed to address the urgent need for managing chronic illnesses in communities

WOBURN, Mass. June 12, 2020 — CHWTraining is adding a new, community-focused breast cancer screening course to its 2020 portfolio. The cutting-edge online course, created by cancer prevention experts at the national and state level, is one of several that fill the industry’s skills gap by providing training in key areas such as breast cancer screening, cancer prevention, women’s health, communication skills, outreach and more.

“Breast cancer screenings can save lives, and CHWTraining is leading the way toward mobilizing women to get annual mammograms,” says Monique Cuvelier, Executive Director of CHWTraining Subscriptions. “Women face many barriers to accessing clinical screenings, and community-focused health teams are vital to educating and supporting women to overcome those hurdles.”

CHWTraining’s education and training cater to community-facing teams by addressing chronic conditions including the following, among others:

Breast Cancer Screening: communicate to clients the importance of screening, who should be screened, and what to expect.

Breast Cancer Genetics: understand how and why breast cancer happens and how to support women through a diagnosis.

Cervical Cancer: evaluate the major barriers to cervical cancer screening, plus how and when to encourage boys, girls, and women to be screened and vaccinated for HPV.

Diabetes: develop an understanding of the types of diabetes and how to manage them, including motivating clients to change lifestyle habits.

Asthma: discover how to reduce triggers during home visits and understand and follow asthma action plans.

COPD: acquire the skills needed to help clients through this group of lung conditions including chronic bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema.

Registration for all 2020 training bundles is now open. For more information about enrollment, visit our Learning Tracks page (https://chwtraining.org/learning-tracks/).

About CHWTraining subscriptions

CHWTraining training and certifications are available to healthcare teams seeking to quickly expand non-clinical skillsets as community health needs evolve. CHWTraining provides healthcare professionals around the country with the best practices, guidelines, and practical advice through education programs designed especially for them. In addition to industry-focused online programs, CHWTraining offers teams the opportunity to attend customized programs tailored specifically for their companies. For more information, please visit: chwtraining.org/contact

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The Coronavirus Is Changing the Community Health Workforce. The Shifts May Be Here to Stay

Being a community health worker or promotora (CHW/P) now isn’t the same as it was in January. And the job might never be the same again. Public health departments, health plans, agencies, vocational high schools—all manner of health care systems in the United States are rethinking what it means to hire, train, and integrate CHW/Ps and other frontline health workers because of the coronavirus.

Since COVID-19 swept across the U.S., the many agencies and individuals are rethinking much of their CHW/P workforce: how new CHW/Ps are trained as they enter the job, what kinds of skills new and experienced workers need in a new health landscape, and even how they work as part of multidisciplinary healthcare teams.

[Ready for your next learning adventure? Start with CHWTraining’s Learning Tracks]

While some of the job changes are born out of necessity, some are simply a better way of working and connecting to clients and patients.

Here’s a closer look at three key ways in which the CHW/P job has changed and will probably stay.

In-Person Training Will Move Online

Virtual training is necessary because it’s not safe for many learners, trainers, and staff to safety travel to on-site locations. As time goes on, and as more health experts and communities warn that opening the country too soon could result in suffering and death, and critically for CHW/Ps, the ability to support underserved communities when they need it most.

The Washington State Department of Health usually offers in-person training across the state four times per year as part of its hybrid CHW training program. This year, however, just as the program was ready to offer its spring session, the state went on lock-down orders.

Washington is one of many organizations that say some or all training for CHW/Ps through the summer and fall is being provided online. Vocational high schools that train CHWs and other medical tech workers are also moving to an online format. We at CHWTraining have an entire team dedicated to creating a wide variety of courses and certifications to educate health workers no matter where they are so they can grow their careers.

CHW/Ps Will Use Telehealth

Telehealth, or telemedicine, is another domain that wasn’t part of many CHW/P tasks until recently. This is good news, because telehealth is a proven strategy to engage and support clients, especially those in rural communities. Now, most people are remote, and the same strategy of communicating with clients for long-distance health care and education works.

Exactly how CHW/Ps will use telehealth to connect with their clients is still evolving.

“Telehealth policy changes occurring within the COVID-19 environment have been rapidly developing on almost a daily basis,” according to Center for Connected Health Policy.

Some of the common ways telehealth is used, according to the Center, include:

  • Video conferencing in a live, two-way interaction between a patient and a provider
  • Store-and-forward technologies to transmit medical information, such as digital images, documents, and pre-recorded videos
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) to send personal health and medical data collection from a patient in one location to a provider in a different location
  • Mobile Health (mHealth) to support clinical and public health services and education on mobile devices such as phones and tablets
  • eConsult for providers to consult with specialists via live video conferencing or store-and-forward.

Skill Areas Will Evolve

Health education, outreach, referrals, and understanding health disparities are all important skills that CHW/Ps provide on a daily basis. Those are more important than ever in a pandemic. Prevention is essential to protecting the lives of people in low-income communities without adequate access to healthcare.

CHW/Ps, for example, can organize hand hygiene stations for homeless and migrant areas. They can use telehealth (see above) to check in with high-risk community members. They can keep people out of overused emergency rooms by teaching skills like understanding how to read and follow an asthma care plan.

Many CHW/P jobs include tasks no one ever imagined a few months ago – sometimes in ways they wouldn’t have thought of. The term “contact tracing” is something associated with CHWs during the Ebola crisis in Africa or cholera in Haiti, but wasn’t really practiced in the United States. CHW/Ps are working within their communities to map cases before it spreads.

Providing social support and behavioral health support are going to be even more important than before.

CHW/Ps Will Be More Integrated

Many healthcare systems that have considered using CHW/Ps, or use them but aren’t sure how they connect with the larger system, will need to change. These organizations’ workforces will need to understand the role of a CHW/P and how it differs from a social worker, case manager, or nurse. When disasters—health and otherwise—effect a community, it’s helpful to have a community-based workforce to minimize its impact.

“Right now there’s a focus on coordinating services for high-risk individuals to meet their health and social needs and help them remain at home safely to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19,” Melanie Bella, chief of new business and policy at Cityblock Health and current chair of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) said in an interview with Center for Health Care Strategies.

“States may want to consider re-focusing efforts on making system changes that increase coordination and alignment,” she advised.

Now more than ever before healthcare systems need to invest in CHW/Ps. They’re essential during pandemics and not.

 

Most Important Tobacco Cessation Skills for a CHW Training Plan

Tobacco kills and doesn’t have to. That’s why most health agencies already include dedicated tobacco or vaping cessation programs. They don’t, however, always include community health workers (CHWs) or other health promoters as part of that equation.

Need for CHWs on Tobacco Cessation

CHWs are proven through multiple studies to provide significant impact on health promotion and disease prevention, including tobacco and vaping cessation. They excel at prevention strategies, and tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable mortality in this country. And CHW initiatives can excel where clinic-based programs fail: CHWs know their communities and can reach more underserved and hard-to-reach smokers, such as LGBTQ+ communities.

“Tobacco use is twice as high for LGBTQ+ high school students than for heterosexual students,” says Mandi Pratt-Chapman, director of the GW Cancer Institute, on Twitter. 

Tobacco programs across the world that use CHWs have demonstrated promising quit rates. A study from the CDC shows community-based interventions included are cost-effective. Another study shows that people working with CHWs were about three times more likely to quit when compared with a control group.

Thankfully, guiding people to stop smoking or vaping is an accessible skill. CHWs who have the right kind of training and supervision can work within a community to provide culturally relevant motivational strategies, social support, and bridge gaps in healthcare.

[Read more: Online Training Beginner’s Guide for Program Managers]

Any tobacco and vaping cessation program should include not only clinicians, clinical staff, and also community-based health workers with the knowledge and skills they need to promote tobacco cessation.

Where To Start with Tobacco Cessation Training Programs for CHWs

Before designing your tobacco cessation program, assess your needs. You could start with a skills gap analysis. This analysis, or assessment, is an important first step in creating any online training initiative. Establishing what stakeholders need from a program, and what your trainees need to learn, will help you create a program that has a greater chance of success.

But too many people either skip the step of creating a needs assessment, or they make mistakes. If a training needs assessment is messy, it could set the tone for your entire program, and could leave unsatisfied health workers or wasted funds.

To do your own skills gap analysis, list the essential skills in a CHW tobacco training program (some suggestions are below), check off the areas where you already excel, and note areas where you need extra support. Then, rank each CHW based on these criteria to find out who needs to learn which skill.

Sample Gap Analysis Template

Competency

Importance

Rating

Comments

1.

 

 

 

2.

 

 

 

3.

 

 

 

4.

 

 

 

Don’t forget to include your CHWs and healthcare team. Ask what they’d like to learn more about, and involve them in designing a tobacco cessation training program that dovetails with additional training opportunities. Any training and development program works best when the people you’re training are involved.

Then, you’ll be ready to decide what portions of your training program you want internal, and which you can outsource to a program like CHWTraining. An outside education consultant can supplement your team by helping you build a training plan and conduct these analyses. A cloud learning subscription can make your training much more successful by being accessible 24/7 and allowing CHWs to train remotely.

Tobacco Cessation Training Guide

When you’ve defined which training areas you can address internally and which you’d like to outsource, then you can put together a program. Here are some of the skills CHWTraining recommends as part of a tobacco cessation and vaping program.

  1. Tobacco Cessation
  2. Vaping
  3. Motivational Interviewing
  4. Communication Skills
  5. Outreach Skills
  6. Cardiovascular Disease
  7. Providing Social Support

1. Tobacco Cessation

An overall course on tobacco cessation will show your team what motivates people to use tobacco or vape and what resources are available to help them stop. An ability to make smart recommendations that help people live a healthier life relies on understanding factors that can help or hinder cessation attempts, as well as several strategies that tobacco users can employ to work towards their cessation goals. (Check out 10 Free Apps for Tobacco Cessation.)

2. Vaping

New information appears regularly on severe lung disease associated with using vaping devices and e-cigarette products. Vaping should be a focus of any tobacco control program, especially among youth.

This is a bigger program than you might think, and vaping leads to smoking. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services posted on LinkedIn, “One in five 10th graders in Washington uses vapor products or e-cigarettes … each year in Washington, approximately 1,800 youth start smoking & will continue smoking into adulthood.”

Training on vaping should include what the products are and how they are used, effects on brain and lung development, addiction, pathways to tobacco use, and understanding how tobacco and vape marketing intentionally target low-income communities.

3. Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a technique used to help people discover their own reasons for positive change in a non-confrontational way. It was originally developed as a way to help people quit smoking, and while MI techniques can be used for helping people make any kind of behavioral change, it’s still an essential skill for stopping smoking.

4. Communication Skills

Frontline healthcare workers need to be able to understand the language used on a daily basis to provide education and motivation for quitting tobacco or vaping. Using good communication techniques helps them relate health information better, limit misunderstandings, and build trust. Include a course that provides foundational communication techniques to facilitate better communication between health care providers and community members, and it will be useful in many different settings.

5. Outreach Skills

Any tobacco cessation program should be built on solid outreach and engagement skills so that community members know what resources are available to them.

An outreach skills and engagement course should provide a path that goes through identifying a target audience, determining their needs, and spreading the word about smoking cessation services or programs that will benefit them.

6. Cardiovascular Disease

Smoking takes a toll on the heart, so CHWs should understand how in a training about cardiovascular disease. A good course on CVD should cover how the cardiovascular system functions, what happens during a heart attack and stroke, as well as how smoking can lead to worse outcomes. Skills in this course should also include management and prevention strategies that will include using cigarettes and e-cigarettes and well as other negative influences.

7. Providing Social Support

Learning to navigate social situations and building a support system is critical for dealing with a quit attempt and motivating patients for change.

A providing social support course will provide positive stress management and coping skills, ways to strengthen social support networks, and interpersonal and relationship-building skills.

Related: Chronic illness education and training for teams

Health photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Oral Health Training Initiatives in Every State

It’s well documented that oral health is connected to the whole body. So, it makes sense for CHWs and health promoters to understand why oral health is important and what to look out for when visiting clients. Many agencies recognize the need to include oral health in CHW training.

Some states, such as Oregon and Minnesota, require CHWs to take training in oral health.

To help your program meet any requirements or support initiatives—and improve oral and overall health outcomes in clients and patients—we did a deep dive into each state to see what they offer in terms of oral health training, requirements, and resources for CHWs.

Do you know of anything we left out? Let us know, and we’ll add it to this list.

Oral Health CHW Training Initiatives by State

Alaska

The Alaska Community Health Aide Program (CHAP)/Dental Health Aide Program (DHAP) complements Alaska’s tribal health care system to ensure access to primary health services in remote frontier communities serving Alaska Natives.

Arizona

Arizona has a state Oral Health Action Plan that includes a strategy to “engage other health professionals (physician assistants, nurse practitioners, community health workers (CHWs), to help consumers navigate the healthcare system.”

Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Health includes a STAR.Health initiative that use CHWs to promote health in maternal-child health, oral health, and chronic disease management.

California

The California Oral Health Plan includes a strategy to “Provide technical assistance and training to support the inclusion of oral health goals in promotora/community health worker (CHW) programs and home visitation programs.”

Colorado

Colorado doesn’t specifically recommend oral health training by CHWs but it does expand the role of dental hygienists to include some traditional CHW skills, “Colorado allows licensed independent dental hygienists to provide preventive care and refer for restorative treatment.” The state does include standards and requirements for health navigators—sometimes called oral health patient navigators–on “Recognizing and reporting abnormal signs and symptoms of common conditions including mental and oral health.”

Connecticut

Connecticut is showing some signs of requiring oral health training for CHWs by integrating oral health with medical health.

Delaware

Delaware is committed to training CHWs in oral health by training with a presentation called “An Inside Look into the Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Wellness,” from the Division of Public Health at Delaware Health and Social Services. It also has an “Oral Health 101” presentation. “We also encourage the Smiles for Life educational resources,” says Gabrielle Hilliard, the public health treatment program administrator at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health.

Florida

The Florida Senate issued language addressing “critical shortages of providers” in oral health care, among others, and is encouraging CHWs to plug that gap. The Florida Oral Health Alliance works with the Florida Community Health Worker Coalition to work toward its oral health plan.

Georgia

Georgia was one of 13 states working on state guidelines for instituting best practices for oral health access.

Hawaii

Hawaii was one of 13 states working on state guidelines for instituting best practices for oral health access.

Idaho

The Idaho Oral Health Network carves out space for CHWs to help with oral health. Idaho also was one of 13 states working on state guidelines for instituting best practices for oral health access.

Illinois

Illinois was one of 13 states working on state guidelines for instituting best practices for oral health access. Its action plan includes, “Increase oral health services (diagnostic, preventive, and restorative) to Medicaid and SCHIP children, birth through 13, by 14 percent.” It received a HRSA grant to build up an oral health workforce.

Indiana

The CHW Workgroup includes an initiative for “diagnosis-related patient education towards self-managing physical, mental, or oral health in conjunction with a health care team.”

Iowa

Iowa was one of 13 states working on state guidelines for instituting best practices for oral health access.

Kansas

Kansas does not yet have established CHW requirements but does have many areas of specialty, including oral health as well as diabetes, asthma, and others, according to Oral Health Kansas. Kathy Hunt, Dental Program Director, says “Next steps are to offer supplemental specialty courses (on-line and face to face) after graduation that will best match job placement,” including CHWs who will work in oral health.

Kentucky

We were unable to find details on CHWs and oral health in Kentucky.

Louisiana

We were unable to find details on CHWs and oral health in Louisiana.

Maine

We were unable to find details on CHWs and oral health in Maine.

Maryland

“Maryland had just begun its process to accredit CHW Certification Training Programs and has not yet issued any accreditations,” says Kimberly Hiner, deputy director of the Office of Population Health Improvement at the Maryland Department of Health.

“Maryland’s CHW certification process is built on our CHW core competencies.  While oral health is not explicitly listed as a core competency, training programs may have it incorporated into their comprehensive curricula. We should have more information within the next six to twelve months.”

Massachusetts

Oral health is offered as a special health topic to be potentially taken for the CHW requirement course, and/or offered as a potential course for the CHW Certification Renewal.

Michigan

Michigan was one of 13 states working on state guidelines for instituting best practices for oral health access.

Minnesota

Minnesota initiated an expansion of its oral health workforce because more than half of its counties are considered Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas. Minnesota’s 2013-2018 Oral Health Plan details strategies to expand the oral health workforce to reduce these disparities, including using CHWs.

Mississippi

Some CHWs in Mississippi have completed oral health training, according to Tameka Walls, director of the Mississippi Delta Health Collaborative at the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Missouri

CHWs in Missouri do not currently receive training regarding oral health, but “we are considering options to encourage this training,” says Karen Dent, Director of the Oral Health Network of Missouri at the Missouri Primary Care Association.

Montana

Montana encourages training in oral health for CHWs but has no posted requirements.

Nebraska

The state Health Worker training program does not offer training in oral health, but the state has used CHWs in the past and has placed some individuals in the training program.

Nevada

CHWs who are not certified or who have the first level of certification in Nevada, need the basic state-approved course. “There’s 20 additional hours of required ‘general training,’ which is not prescribed and CHWs can certainly submit trainings that were on oral health,” says Kayla Valy, project manager for the Nevada Community Health Worker Association. “Oral health trainings are likely to be approved for the ‘general’ category but not specifically called out anywhere.”

The Nevada Certification Board has information for people who would like details on the requirements and process of becoming a certified CHW.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire encourages training in oral health for CHWs but has no posted requirements. The Oral Health Program at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has some information about oral health initiatives.

New Jersey

New Jersey has no posted requirements and did not respond to our survey, but the Children’s Oral Health page at the State of New Jersey Department of Health lists some educational resources.

New Mexico

New Mexico was one of 13 states working on state guidelines for instituting best practices for oral health access.

New York

“Will test a model that uses family-level, peer-counseled, and technology-assisted behavioral risk reduction strategies, aims to divert children with early- and advanced-stage early childhood caries (ECC) from high-cost surgical dental rehabilitation (DR) to low-cost non-surgical disease management (NSDM). Together, parents and community health workers (CHWs) will use MySmileBuddy (MSB), a mobile tablet-based health technology, to plan, implement, and monitor positive oral health behaviors, including dietary control and use of fluorides, which arrest ECC’s progression.”

Oral health for CHWs as part of Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaborative.

North Carolina

North Carolina supports community dental health coordinators. “CDHCs are dental assistants or dental hygienists with the combined skills of a community health worker, dental auxiliary, and care coordinator who are recruited from the vulnerable community they will serve,” according to a newsletter from the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

North Dakota

North Dakota is working on a Community Health Dental Coordinator program supported by the state Dental Association, the ADA, and other partners. “There are a few in North Dakota who have taken the training, and are working in the state (though community health workers/Community health dental coordinators do not yet provide care that can be reimbursed – this is a conversation that is being had with state Medicaid),” says Shawnda Schroeder, the oral health expert at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Center for Rural Health. “The state has just begun to have conversations around dental community health workers and there is consensus among oral health providers and stakeholders that this model could work in North Dakota.”

Oregon

Oregon’s Traditional Health Worker (THW) program requires applicants to complete between 1.5 and 3 hours oral health training.

Pennsylvania

The state pledged to “develop programs that promote and support oral health careers” to meet a gap in promoting oral health education in its Pennsylvania Oral Health Plan 2017-2020 (PDF). This includes “comprehensive plan to improve the number of oral health professionals graduating and remaining in Pennsylvania.”

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has requirements for becoming a certified CHW, and while CHWs aren’t required to complete oral health training, they are required to include a “portfolio”: a collection of personal and professional activities and achievements in categories that can include oral health. The state’s Oral Health Program is a “mini-residency” that increases career opportunities for oral health professionals and access to the marginalized communities.

South Carolina

Oral health is a specialty track that the South Carolina Community Health Worker Association would like to provide to CHWs. It is an area that trainers in the state are looking to include in the future.

South Dakota

Delta Dental of South Dakota, which covers over thirty‐thousand isolated, low‐income, and underserved Medicaid beneficiaries and other American Indians on reservations throughout South Dakota, received an award to improve oral health and health care for American Indian mothers, their young children, and American Indian people with diabetes.”

Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Health made October 2019 Child Health Month and published a toolkit full of resources for health workers (available here as a cached resource).

Texas

Certified CHWs in Texas should be trained in oral health principles as part of the core competency Knowledge Base on Specific Health Issues. It includes the objective, “Find information on specific health topics and issues across all ages [lifespan focus], including healthy lifestyles, maternal and child health, heart disease & stroke, diabetes, cancer, oral health and behavioral health.”

Utah

The Utah Department of Health’s Office of Health Disparities publishes many resources for community-focused workers and program coordinators, including “Seal Your Smile: A Step Toward Combatting Oral Health Disparities in Utah,” “Cross-Cultural Education and Training: Oral Health Education Institutions in Utah,” and “Addressing Oral Health Disparities in Urban Settings: A Strategic Approach to Advance Access to Oral Health Care.”

Vermont

Vermont offers a few initiatives focused on improving oral health (PDF), especially in rural areas. A major achievement is “Access to oral health care was a top priority identified in our current CHNA. In response a multi-agency Rural Oral Health Access initiative was launched to provide oral health screening and dental hygiene services to children in elementary schools throughout our HSA and to link these children to a dental home.”

Virginia

Virginia’s action plan includes increasing utilization of dental services. Virginia Health Catalyst has resources surrounding its initiatives for CHWs.

Washington

The Washington State Department of Health has many resources and trainings for community health workers focused on oral and dental health. The Community Health Worker Training project includes a course available to Washington participants on oral health, available in English and Spanish.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Oral Health Coalition released “Roadmap to Improving Oral Health 2020-2025” to reduce the prevalence of oral disease and reduce disparities in oral health status among populations but doesn’t contain specific information about CHWs.

No information was available for Alabama, Delaware, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, or Wyoming.

8 Helpful Tips for Running Better Virtual Trainings

For the health and safety of learning communities, it’s a good idea to host all training events online in the coming weeks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and advice from the World Health Organization are advising people stay home as much as possible. You can still protect the health and safety of your staff while updating your training policy to host training events online.

Face-to-face trainings can make it feel easier to communicate and read the reactions of others in the room. But an online training, especially a webinar, can make it seem like you’re losing some of the participants.

Remote training sessions aren’t identical to in-person education, but there are ways to make them effective, productive—and lower your anxiety levels. Here are 8 top tips that will help you get more value out of your virtual training.

[Sign Up Now: Virtual Training Webinar]

8 Tips for Better Virtual Trainings

  1. Choose the Right Tool for the Training
  2. Make a Plan
  3. Consider Time Zones and Schedules
  4. Send a Welcome Message
  5. Navigate Spam Filters
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice
  7. Keep Learners Engaged
  8. Provide Contact with Mentors or Coaches

1. Choose the Right Tool for the Training

The most important decision when you move training online is what tool you’ll use to offer it. Different situations and materials call for different solutions.

If you’re doing a one-off training that takes no more than 1.5 hours, a webinar is a good choice, and you can use a tool like GoToMeeting, Join.me, Uber Conference, or Zoom. Learn more about a few popular video conferencing services.

If you need to repeat the training, need to offer certificates, or need more in-depth training, then self-guided online education is the solution you need. The fastest and easiest way to train your staff without being in the same room is through a learning and training subscription. Learning subscriptions are helpful so you’re not reinventing the wheel every time you train every community health worker.

A learning subscription lets you begin training within a few days. It’s a digital learning solution that provides 24/7 access to a complete catalog of interactive training courses and videos for anyone on your team who needs to build skills or meet training requirements. Learning subscriptions are helpful for existing and new hires because they make it easy to stay current as health recommendations are constantly changed and revised. Access to a continuous learning system like CHWTraining keeps staff connected to enhanced training or CHW certification requirements with each new update.

2. Make a Plan

Unless you’re a pro at holding online trainings, having a careful plan is the key to a smooth event. A project plan helps you assign tasks, collaborate with others, and remove stress for everyone. Even if you’re the only one holding your online training, you should plot out the sequence of events and when they should happen.

At a minimum, include these main categories in an elearning project plan, including task, milestone, and person responsible:

  • Registration
  • Text or content writing
  • Graphic design
  • Platform set up
  • Rehearsal
  • Follow-up

3. Consider Time Zones and Schedules

Nearly everyone has mixed up meeting times with someone in a different time zone. Consider time zones when you set your event, and think about when people are free.

You might even survey your learners to find out when it’s most convenient for them to meet. There are a lot of good scheduling tools out there, but we often use Doodle:

4. Send a Welcome Message

Welcome messages help you set expectations and highlight anything important when people are most attentive. Use your welcome message to give students a quick preview of the virtual training, give them contact information, state prerequisites, and give them major deadlines they can copy into their calendars.

5. Navigate Spam Filters

Spam filters are notorious for blocking messages from anyone, especially if your team works at a healthcare facility, which seem to have even more strict blocking measures. Double-down on your notifications and messaging by sending in multiple formats: email, automatic notification, Slack, text.

You might even reach out to your learners via their personal email addresses if possible, since so many people are home and might not have access to their work email accounts.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Before you step into that virtual classroom, know what you’re doing by practicing, multiple times if needed. This will give you a chance to try out new technology tools, new material, and be ready for unplanned events.

“Find a group of people who will support your learning curve and practice with the technology. Ideally you gather a group large enough to practice different features of the platform you’ve selected, such as organizing breakout rooms” advises Laura Wells, a trainer who regularly delivers leadership training around San Francisco in person. She has started delivering distance training sessions for clients, and is currently planning to deliver an exceptional virtual format of the Search Inside Yourself program (details at info@awakeinbusiness.com) for which she is a certified teacher. She needed to quickly get up-to-speed in April when one training was rapidly converted to an online format.

“Practicing saved the day,” she says.

“It’s tricky to switch smoothly between screen sharing of content to organizing breakout rooms without losing focus (yours and the participants). Going through that a few times in practice made it much less awkward during the live training,” Wells says. “I was so happy to get through the awkwardness with friends first! And that first April session received excellent evaluation marks from the participants.”

Some tools, such as GoToWebinar, let you start events in practice mode without leading a live session. Even if you fake your own practice mode, run through the event with other presenters, moderators, hosts, and organizers to perfect it before your learners show up.

“I also think a benefit of the practice session with friends is stress management. You don’t feel so alone in it. Sitting in your living room facilitating a training can feel a bit surreal,” Wells says. “It’s great to have the practice people already there in the room with you.”

7. Keep Learners Engaged

For some people, the idea of not being able to sit in the same room with an instructor is a big turn-off. “Remote” learning doesn’t have to feel far away if you focus on building community with your online group.

Encourage the instructor to introduce themselves to your staff and ask them to share information with one another. This will help build a personal rapport. It can also be helpful to build periodic conference calls into a course, or create virtual office hours, so participants can interact with the instructor. A mentoring structure can help too, if you can pair learners with experienced health workers.

Some other best practices for increasing engagement:

  • Ask early and often what participants think.
  • Offer rewards, such as certificates or CEUs.
  • Ask everyone to turn on their video cameras to help everyone connect with each other.
  • Remind participants to be in a quiet place, mute themselves when not speaking, and use a headset.

8. Provide Contact with Mentors or Coaches

If a health worker works in an office or clinic, they have regular contact with managers or coaches and can use new skills with their supervisors right away. Some remote workers don’t have regular access to supervisors or mentors, so what they pick up in class could sit stagnant. This is one of several hidden challenges of training remote learners.

If mentors aren’t in the learners’ communities, put them there, at least virtually. This could mean setting up phone calls with a coach to discussion implementation of the skills or requiring regular online check-ins through the forums or email. A little extra attention, and accountability, can make a big difference in a health worker implementing what they learned faster and better.

Survive Distance Learning Talance

10 skills CHWs can learn right now—without leaving the couch

Use at-home time to brush up on existing skills or pick up some new ones.

The now-global spread of coronavirus is affecting everyone. This disease has brought a host of medical, economic, and political problems. It’s brought all of us—CHWs, supervisors, program managers, clients, and patients alike–a ton of uncertainty and anxiety. This can have an enormous impact on everyone’s emotional and physical wellbeing.

Whenever you’re feeling unsure and anxious about the things you can’t control, it can be helpful to focus on the things you can control, such as your education. While you or your staff might be stuck at home or in a quiet facility, the Internet is still on. So rather than panic-scrolling through social media feeds about toilet paper, put that energy into picking up some new skills or improving the ones you already have.

[Related: The 27 New Skills You Can Now Learn on CHWTraining]

10 Skills CHWs Can Learn from Home

They say there is no such thing as useless knowledge. These 10 skills are definitely worth learning—and learning them can make time based at home time well spent. In the future, these skills form a great workforce development path and can make each CHW a better worker.

  1. Meditation and mindfulness techniques
  2. Depression, Anxiety and Stress
  3. COVID-19
  4. Smoking cessation
  5. Chronic illness
  6. Immunizations
  7. Motivational Interviewing interventions
  8. Healthy cooking
  9. Hand hygiene
  10. Language

1. Meditation and mindfulness techniques

Relaxation and mindfulness are skills that can help you in your personal and professional life—especially now when everything feels uncertain. Mindfulness practices can help people manage stress, deal with serious illness, and reduce anxiety and depression, according to the NIH. These are helpful skills to pass on to clients, employees, and the people around you.

“The most important thing to know when starting a meditation or mindfulness practice is that there is no right or wrong way to ‘do’ it,” says Laura Wells, a facilitator and coach who works with individuals, teams, and organizations to increase focus and build compassionate leadership.

“It is simply about learning to relax into the present moment — there’s nothing we have to, or can, ‘do’ to make the present moment happen. This is about allowing the space for a minute or two or five to not be in charge of what’s occurring. Simply breathing and bringing attention to what is already here in our experience.”

If you want to practice now, you can join Wells for a free 30-minute virtual meditation and connection session Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020, 12:10 PM Pacific Time. Click here to join and use meeting ID: 144 588 211.

2. Depression, Anxiety and Stress


Nearly everyone is feeling depression, anxiety, and stress right now, so it helps you and anyone you work with if you can pick up management skills. Start by recognizing the symptoms of depression from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Then what to do if you see them in yourself or in another. This guide will help you understand when it’s time to make a behavioral health referral.

Supervisors and program managers supporting a community health team with limited resources can easily feel overwhelmed. You have to think about self-care strategies to share, how to help them control stress, and spot signs of burnout and compassion fatigue.

Sign up for Supporting Mental Wellness in CHW Teams, a free on-demand session on improving your team’s mental wellness, identify signs that an employee is at risk for depression, anxiety, or secondary trauma, and show you how you can help your team improve their personal and professional lives.

3. COVID-19

If you’re looking to learn more about coronavirus, then the WHO is the place to start for any health professional. The OpenWHO Massive Online Open Courses for COVID-19 provide learning resources for health professionals, decision-makers, and the public. As the pandemic continues to evolve, new resources will be added, additional language versions will continue to be rolled out, and existing courses will be updated to best reflect the changing context. Some sample courses are “Operational Planning Guidelines to Support Country Preparedness and Response” and “Infection Prevention and Control.”

4. Smoking cessation and vaping


People with unhealthy lungs are particularly at risk for complications from coronavirus, and many other health issues. Learning about these risks can help you talk clearly to clients who smoke. There’s plenty of new information regarding severe lung disease associated with using vaping devices and e-cigarette products, so now is a time to learn about that, especially among youth.

“There are many websites, webinars and listserves available for folks to learn the latest on commercial tobacco and vaping,” Says Norilyn de la Peña, Cessation and Outreach Project Manager at Public Health — Seattle & King County. It’s important to seek resources that are credible. People want information on what vaping products are how to have effective conversations about their use. She suggests learning about these tobacco cessation and vaping education topics for all providers:

  • What the products are and how they are used
  • Why it’s important to keep flavored tobacco and nicotine from youth (affects on brain and lung development, increase chance of addiction, increase likelihood of tobacco use, etc.)
  • Media literacy and tobacco and vape marketing intentionally target low-income communities
  • The importance of sharing valid information from appropriate online resources
  • How to talk to young people about vaping
  • Alternatives to nicotine and tobacco use; positive stress management and coping skills
  • What resources are available

She recommends the following general resources:

  • Truth Initiative
  • AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
  • SCLC (Smoking Cessation Leadership Center)

Public Health — Seattle & King County’s website has Lung disease related to vaping and e-cigarette use. It has an excellent collection of materials, templates, and FAQs for providers, partners, and schools on understanding vaping and how it affects the lungs.

5. Chronic illness

CHWs are vital to successfully managing and avoiding chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. Since CHWs are health brokers who can connect providers with communities, take some time to learn more about the chronic diseases in your community and how CHWs can help.

If you’re a program manager or administrator new to CHWs, do some deep reading on building the policies and systems that support CHWs to see how they fit in with your organization. Start with the excellent document “Addressing Chronic Disease Through Community Health Workers: A Policy and Systems-Level Approach,” (PDF) from the CDC. Then take some time to watch Examining Community Health Worker Models in Managing Chronic Conditions.

If you’re a CHW, you can learn how chronic illness and mental health are closely linked. This video Ask an Expert – Depression and Chronic Illness Webinar (1:19) explores the relationship between depression and Nephrotic Syndrome, specifically, but the topic relates to people living with many chronic diseases.

CHWs can also save on CHWTraining’s chronic illness bundle. It helps you master working with clients with breast cancer (Breast Cancer Screening), cervical cancer (Cervical Cancer Screening and HPV), Diabetes and Prediabetes, and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Along the way, you’ll learn how to screen for disease, talk to clients, and connect to resources in your agency and community.

6. Immunizations


Parents and individuals are too reluctant to get vaccines, thanks in part to too much mistaken information. Patient education is an important way to let people know that vaccinations have an excellent safety record and are an important part of preventing serious diseases. A simple flu shot, covered by many health plans, is the best way for people to protect themselves and their children from getting the influenza.

The AAP is an excellent resource for educating parents and any individual on immunizations. It includes the recommended immunization schedule, information for parents, and communication tips for the conversations you’ll have with parents.

7. Motivational Interviewing interventions

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a technique you can use to help people discover their own reasons for positive change in a non-confrontational way. It was originally developed as a way to help people quit smoking, but MI techniques can be used for helping people make any kind of behavioral change.

Demonstration and practice are the best ways to learn and improve your MI skills, so spend some time reviewing some sample intervention videos, such as these:

8. Healthy cooking


Nutrition and health are closely related, from a healthy diet helping children grow up to avoid chronic diseases to managing—and maybe even reversing—conditions like diabetes. Learning healthy cooking is an excellent skill you can pass on to your clients, and your own family.

Try My Doctor – Kaiser Permanente, which has many how-to videos, ranging from short-and-sweet lessons like Add Flavor Without Salt (2:33) for hypertension, to Tips for Cooking Healthier (2:01), to in-depth webinars like Fresh Food Ideas (1:01:00) for parents.

9. Hygiene

Time to get serious about hand hygiene. Learn, demonstrate, repeat.

10. Language

Communication is a key skill for CHWs, and being able to speak and understand more than English helps. Learning a foreign language, such as Spanish for English-speakers or English for Spanish-speakers, is a great way to unlock better employment options and connect clients to resources.

Smart phone apps like Duolingo are great vocabulary builders, and you can do them whenever you have a few free minutes. Another fun one is Lirica, which matches language with pop music. It takes the music from such musicians as Enrique Iglesias and turns it into Spanish vocabulary and grammar lessons.

Keep building skills

Just reading a PDF or a PowerPoint presentation isn’t enough to really learn. Practice your skills as soon as you can. Keep refreshing your skills once you’ve learned something. Bookmark this page so you can keep revisiting these resources and keep them fresh.

Online Training Beginner’s Guide for Program Managers

Online Training Beginner’s Guide for Program Managers

Health agencies, systems, and state and local departments have never had so much technology at their fingertips. Training technology and online courses have developed just in time to meet the rising workforce of community health workers (CHWs). Now is when you want to move your training online.

Online learning is also a logical way to train teams of all sizes while containing the coronavirus outbreak. Workshops and conferences are either canceled, such as Northwest Rural Health Conference, or going virtual, such as The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), in the wake of COVID-19.

[Related: The Top CHW Conferences of 2020]

Moving training online also means you can quickly get staff up to speed on requirements and new skills exactly when you need it. A course on immunizations, hygiene, or home visit safety can sit at the ready for exactly when CHWs need skill refreshers or new information to deliver clients.

“The reality is that remote work cultures are on the rise as more individuals and team leadership have come to understand the value and advantages of this work structure,” says Robert Glazer, a capacity-building and leadership consultant and author of the book Elevate. He gives tips on migrating teams to work from home in a recent article.

Number of people who would like to work remotely
Image: Buffer

CHWs appreciate being able to learn online, according to the learner feedback through CHWTraining courses and our partner courses. Being able to use forum posts, for example, can keep the conversation flowing over the entire duration of a course. And many like being able to review materials whenever they want a refresher.

“I like that the forum posts were interactive,” said one health promoter who took CHWTraining’s Diabetes and Prediabetes. “They’re a good way to communicate your thoughts as the course progressed.”

The motivations for transitioning from face-to-face to online are clear. Making the leap to launch educational technology can be done gradually, all at once, or in a limited way.

So how do you know where to start when launching a CHW ed-tech program?

Steps to Moving Training Online

1)      Assess online training tools.

Start by assessing what sorts of tools you have for online training. This makes your shift easy, because the infrastructure is already there. It pays to ask around, because there may be more available to you than you think.

We regularly work with clients who share an office with others with robust and useful training tools that aren’t shared. This happens regularly when programs are grant funded. The grant might support breast and cervical cancer screenings, but not HIV/AIDS client support. But both areas depend on outreach engagement skills, so why not share when you can?

Once you start asking around, you might find others have a full-fledged learning management system (LMS) that’s used by your organization for everything from HIPAA training to clinician training. Or you can open up your own subscription more targeted courses through CHWTraining to others who can use it.

Expand your search for training tools to include other less-obvious resources, including:

  • Ways to have discussions (Slack, message boards, group chat)
  • Webinar technology (WebEx, Zoom, Skype)
  • Video recordings (YouTube, Vimeo, CDC)

2)      Begin with blended learning.

You split the difference between keeping some training in person and pushing other topics online for a blended learning strategy. Blended learning mixes the best of training delivery methods to reach a variety of learning needs and varying subject matter. A live session allows for participants to meet each other and make connections with instructors and classmates that result in better retention. It can also be helpful for delivering material that’s better suited to in-person instruction.

For example, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s CHW and Patient Navigation Online Course includes a 10-week online element that begins and concludes with face-to-face teaching. The instructors cover such topics as communication techniques in the group, which gives participants a chance to try out newfound skills with their colleagues. Other topics, such as documentation skills, convert easily to an online format.

3)      Assign coaches or peer learning partners.

Many states with CHW certificate programs require learners to complete some degree of field training. Even if your employer doesn’t include this requirement, it’s still a great idea to pair a learner with someone who has experience on the job. Set up a system where supervisors or coaches can guide recent participants through using those foundational skills on the job.

This gives learners a chance to apply what they learn online to a real-life setting. The real benefit of having courses online is that learners can revisit courses while they’re doing fieldwork. It also makes it easier to sneak in training between visits with clients or on weekends and evenings.

Moving training online does have many moving parts. But it can be manageable, save costs, and be useful for CHWs. Ready to take your training to the next level? Contact us for a free consultation.

CHWTraining Releases New Course for Under-served Communities: “Oral Health Disparities”

Online training offers guidance for community health workers, case managers, and others to bridge gaps in oral-health awareness and access

Woburn, Mass., Feb. 14, 2020 – CHWTraining, a trusted provider of educational support and structure that enables organizations to build healthier communities from Talance, Inc., has added the new online course “Oral Health Disparities.” The 2- to 3-hour self-guided training is designed for people who need to show clients and caregivers how to improve oral health while navigating social determinates of health.

Oral Health Disparities,” available in English and Spanish, is ideal for clinical and non-clinical staff, including community health workers, promotoras de salud, case managers, patient navigators, support staff, and more.

Many people in the United States fail to understand the profound relationship between oral health and overall well-being. The mouth can show signs of nutritional gaps or general infection. Poor oral health reduces quality of life and is related to chronic systemic conditions, including stroke, heart and lung disease, and diabetes.

But significant disparities remain in oral care across different populations, where oral-health literacy can be negatively affected by factors ranging from race and ethnicity to socioeconomic status, geography, culture, language, gender, and age.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican Americans between 35 and 44 years of age experience untreated tooth decay nearly twice as much as white non-Hispanics. Latino children have higher rates of tooth decay, rampant decay, and treatment need compared to non-Latino white children. Many people living in less-affluent urban and rural areas either can’t afford dental insurance or face other barriers—including language, culture, or a lack of available information and resources—to finding and receiving oral care. Poor dental health in under-served communities can correlate to chronic conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes to brain degeneration and more.

However, oral disease is preventable with the proper training. Oral Health Disparities helps employers, health systems, agencies, and health departments invest in training that promotes prevention and coordinates care among at-risk patients.

The course provides oral-health training and support for healthcare workers on various oral-health aspects, including teaching clients the basics of good oral care and dietary choices, learning to recognize oral signs of health or substance-use issues, and helping to bridge gaps and barriers to quality care.

About CHWTraining

CHWTraining provides online training-technology tools to organizations that want to create workers who transform health in America’s communities. It’s perfect for training new employees who need core competencies or standardizing training for existing staff—on their own time. The assessment-based certificates confirm that participants can demonstrate their knowledge.

About Talance

At Talance, we believe we all have a civic responsibility to help build healthy communities. Since 2000, we’ve collaborated with educators, advocates, health practitioners, governments, and employers to drive positive, lasting change in the environments where people actually live and work. Talance delivers online community-health education that is trusted by clients across the nation, who rely on our expertise to help develop custom curricula or tap into our original course library that is developed by a professional team of industry leaders.

Interested in educating your team in oral-health disparities? Contact us to learn how at www.chwtraining.org/contact.

Most Important Job Skills To Build a CHW Career Path

Employment for community health workers is looking up. More organizations are looking for ways to include CHWs and provide more CHW core competency training for internal staff. This is good news for anyone looking to put themselves on a CHW career path while improving health outcomes for their community.

Careful planning of a CHW career path can allow anyone who starts with an entry-level job to expand it into a rewarding career. As need for this role keeps growing, CHWs can not only increase the health knowledge of their community members but also increase their own reach to more people and other job opportunities.

CHW Job Outlook

The statistics are inspiring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for CHWs are expected to rise 18.1% by 2026. That means that an estimated 10,400 jobs should open up. Also, salaries for already employed CHWs are increasing. Wages are good, with a median of $19.01 per hour, or $39,540 annually.

Acquiring the skills to become a CHW can open the door to a profitable and secure career.

Building a CHW career path–rather than just finding an entry-level job—involves understanding the core competencies and what kinds of skills are useful for ongoing growth.

In order to earn a profitable job and build a lasting career, current and prospective CHWs need to keep their health and professional skills sharp. They need to take extra training and prove their knowledge and expertise through certification. A CHWTraining learning subscription offers complete, up-to-date training for employers who want to provide staff with foundational skills and knowledge of specific health topics, such as diabetes or breast cancer.

We created the quick guide below as a tool for employers who want to build sustainable training programs and CHWs who want to understand the job qualifications.

CHW Core Competencies

CHWs are employed in every state of the US (except South Dakota, for which no data is available), according to the BLS. Each state has independent job requirements, which vary from college degrees that take multiple years to complete to on-the-job training. Some states require certification, and some employers require certificates of completion to show successful training.

CHW jobs by state

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

However, there are some similarities among all the differences related to core competencies, which are available through CHWTraining’s Learning Tracks. The following are common skills required by many programs and advisory committees. Here are some CHW core competency training areas common among the Washington State Department of Health’s CHW program, the Roles and Competencies from the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project, the US Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. You can compare more national requirements at State Community Health Worker Models from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).

CHW Training Guide

Core CompetencyExample Skills
Advocacy Skills/Capacity Building SkillsEmpower clients, motivate people to manage their own health and advocate for themselves, help people reach their goals, support behavior change, identify and overcome barriers, understand community cultures and ways to reach members.
Care Coordination or Service Coordination and System NavigationNavigate systems and collaborate with partners to connect clients to resources; help service providers work together; tell systems about needs of people; help develop and implement care plans.
Communication SkillsListening skills, language skills, building rapport, using nonverbal communication, resolving and avoiding conflict, understanding and working within culturally diverse communities.
Cultural Humility/Cultural ResponsivenessServe as a bridge between different cultures, translate healthy behaviors into culturally appropriate equivalents, understand and work to reduce health disparities, use cultural sensitivities for all diverse groups, behave respectfully, identify bias.
Education and Facilitation SkillsUse various ways to deliver health information clearly, explain terms in plain language, promote healthy behavior change, find and use resources to develop self-efficacy skills.
Evaluation and ResearchIdentify issues in communities and their causes, conduct evaluation projects, collect data, share results, communicate to stakeholders to make changes in services.
Experience and Knowledge BaseFully understand the community, including social determinants of health, health issues, ways to improve health and self-care, and basic public-health principles; understand how US social-service systems work.
Individual and Community Assessment and Direct ServicesIdentify needs, strengths and resources of communities; help meet needs; help clients understand their needs and overcome barriers; provide social and health support.
Interpersonal and Relationship-Building SkillsEstablishing trust with people and in communities, being open-minded, using Motivational Interviewing techniques.
Outreach Skills, Methods and StrategiesDevelop and implement outreach plans, share information about programs and resources, create and maintain relationships with community members and partners.
Professional Skills and ConductUnderstand and handle legal and ethical challenges, respect confidentiality and privacy rights, respond appropriately in complex situations, understand and follow agency rules.

 

Community outreach in Liberia by UNMEER

Community Engagement the Right Way with Outreach Skills

Four essential outreach skills for putting a community engagement plan into action.

After months—maybe years—of planning, research, building, and even growing a few extra gray hairs, your program is ready for your community. You’re certaioun that you’ve trained your community health team to keep people out of emergency rooms, lower their high blood pressure, control their diabetes, keep them safe from skin cancer. You’ve met all your grant objectives, you’re confident what you’ve created is destined to help, and your community is…silent.

What did you miss?

It could be outreach.

Even the best programs can fail if no one knows about them. Keeping communities in better health begins with an outreach effort. All community health worker (CHW) teams should understand what outreach is and why it helps, so it pays to train them with the right skills to spread word about your programs and services.

What is community outreach?

Community outreach and engagement means talking to local groups, using local media and social media to discuss healthy habits, or appearing at community events to do demonstrations and build linkages. Outreach is essential for connecting people to healthcare and services. It helps to delivers evidence-based information and minimizes communication gaps among providers and the public.

And you need to do it many ways, and you need to do it over and over again. Research shows that people won’t act on something until they’ve heard or seen it seven times, on average. The rule of seven is an old marketing rule that happens to still be true.

Successful outreach is definitely and art, but also a science. Skills can be learned, and many of them most CHWs already have through collaborating with other health care practitioners and working with clients.

Here are four essential outreach skills to share with your team that they can start using right now.

Build organizational skills.

Taking on an outreach project requires organization. That means your team members need to be able to control their own chaos and work well with others. It also means proficiency in capturing information, conducting research. A good base in organizational skills will form the foundation of successful outreach projects.

Tell a story—and feel free to make it personal.

Our culture is built on connecting with others in society, and the best way to do that is to listen and relate to others’ stories. Keeping hypertension under control might boil down to blood pressure readings, but it’s so much more engaging to know how and why it matters in real life. If you need help phrasing a story, the Acrobatant blog has a great article Three Ways to Tell Your Story in Healthcare Marketing.

ReThink Health also has a Public Narrative Toolkit for outreach skills that includes short videos, worksheets, meeting agendas, and coaching tips for telling stories.

When doing any kind of outreach, ask your team to think about their own experience or those of others and how it relates, because this is what sparks excitement and engagement.

Make sure the right people hear it.

Part of being organized is identifying your target audience, or the people who you need to communicate your message with. Even the most compelling story and useful program or service will fall flat if you skip this step. Spend time carefully identifying who you need to reach with your outreach project.

For example, you might target mothers with small children with a sunscreen use outreach project. What places do they visit around town? Do they use social media? Do health fairs work for your clients? Can you partner with schools or businesses? Learn your audience and support system so you can connect meaningfully.

Repeat, and repeat again.

Once is never enough. After you’ve done the research, drafted the your story, and found a target audience, deploy the outreach plan. And then do it again. People need to be reminded, because they forget, get distracted, the information isn’t relevant—whatever the reason is, hearing a message multiple times makes it click.

Outreach skills are only part of a comprehensive CHW training program that will guarantee the success of your program. Have a look at some of our skill-building training courses to think about how they fit into your initiative.