Community Advisory Board Timeline
Community Health Worker Project Overview
Throughout August 2022, the recruitment efforts for the SWCAHEC Community Health Worker Curriculum Development Project: Community Advisory Board have been highly successful. SWCAHEC have been tabling at the Fort Lewis College Job Fair and promoting within the area, receiving numerous questions about how to become a member.
We invite participants to join one of several virtual informational meetings, providing them a brief description of a community health worker and details about the advisory board member role and how to apply.
The response to our recruitment has been overwhelming, but the efforts recruit twelve community members, who are Native American and Latinx, to the community advisory board
Early September 2022, for the first meeting of the community advisory board, members participate in an activity to express their general understanding of the core competencies of community health workers.
Each member is given time to thoughtfully reflect on each of the nine competencies, which include factors such as having knowledge of care coordination and being able to advocate for the community. They then write their individual responses to each competency, which are compiled into a group discussion. During this discussion, the members examine their individual responses and the group’s collective understanding of the core competencies. This process helps the members to gain a beginner’s understanding of the competencies and to share their perspectives on the importance of them.
The activity has been a great success, providing the members with an opportunity to share their understanding of the core competencies of community health workers
Late September 2022, the community advisory members are actively engaging in the weekly meetings, fully immersing themselves in learning the community health worker certificate competencies. They provide feedback that helps shape teaching strategies used to ensure the best approach for future learners to comprehend concepts and skills. Their feedback is a key part of the program development process, as they can offer insight into how to best engage students and maximize their learning potential.
The members’ contributions range from commenting on the textbook and presentation content to suggesting various modalities. Through their participation, they help ensure that the teaching strategies are effective and relevant.
Early October 2022, the SWCAHEC Community Health Worker Curriculum Development Project continues to collect feedback during the community advisory board weekly meetings, where members share their first response to lectures. They also gather for the first of several monthly small-group discussions and check-ins, where members discuss about specific topics while providing critical feedback to the course content.
Small-group discussions and check-ins provide board members a platform to express their insights and experiences on the learner’s pathway as a community health worker. The board members demonstrate a progressive understanding of the foundations for community health workers, as shown by their thoughtful responses to questions and their active involvement in the group discussions.
Through their feedback, the board members provide valuable input on the community health worker pilot program, commenting adjustments and suggestions to ensure its course content is effective.
Since September 2022, Southwestern Colorado AHEC continues to offer educational services to members of the community advisory board for the SWCAHEC Community Health Worker Curriculum Development Project. During this period, board members have had the opportunity to learn about the foundations of community health workers through lectures.
The lectures focus on the core elements and factors that play a part of the community health worker scope of work, including client interview, the structure of healthcare system, and social determinants of health. Through these lectures, board members are gaining an understanding of the fundamental skills and knowledge that a community health worker requires to effectively serve their community.
In addition to the lectures, SWCAHEC provides board members with resources to help them better understand the role of a community health worker. These resources include print materials, online trainings, and participation in community health exposure events. Through these resources, board members are gaining a greater appreciation for the importance of a community health worker in promoting health and wellbeing in their community
Early-November 2022, the community advisory board continue to make progress in their learning. They participate in lectures and activities, including role-playing scenarios and case studies, which allow the board members to practice open questions, affirmations, reflective listening, and summary reflections (OARS). OARS are the basic interaction techniques and skills a key part of motivational interviewing among clients.
The board members also learn about food insecurity and existing food assistance programs, as well as raising their awareness of overdose and receiving Narcan training. Members continue to show enthusiasm and engagement in the project, and the progress they have made is encouraging.
Mid-November 2022, in the weekly meetings, board members are taking ownership of their learning by each leading a presentation about a few concepts of a community health worker and providing a group activity to practice concepts from their presentation. These presentations allow for a deeper understanding of the material, with each board member having the opportunity to present and lead an activity. The presentations and activities are being well received by the other members, with each member showing a practical understanding of the material as well as the ability to identify additional competencies exercised.
Overall, the board members are taking ownership of their learning, actively participating in the presentations and activities.