The Healthy Start Community Health Worker (CHW) Course will provide baseline (introductory) training toward the achievement of perinatal health competencies and core competencies needed to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of a CHW in the Healthy Start program.
CHWs working in Healthy Start programs, whether they are directly employed or subcontracted by the Healthy Start program.
CHWs (trusted, frontline but usually non-licensed staff who work directly with participants) go by many names in local Healthy Start programs, including navigator, parent advocate, family educator, male involvement coordinator, fatherhood engagement specialist, and outreach worker, among others–and this course is for all of them.
While the primary audience of the course is CHWs, it is open to any Healthy Start staff member who wants to take it, including supervisors, nurses and social workers, trainers, and managers.
Find out more
In order to to access the course, track your progress through the course, and collect badges you will need to register as a user with the Healthy Start EPIC Center online community.
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Register now!Create an account to access the course and additional features, such as posting to the forum and viewing other members. Note that registration is limited to current Healthy Start grantees.
Enter the Healthy Start Community Health Worker Course
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Healthy Start 101 & Perinatal Health Modules
Healthy Start 101By the end of the Healthy Start 101 Module, you will be able to:
- Describe the core services, philosophy, and goals of Healthy Start, as well as the populations the program serves.
- Describe the 5 Healthy Start approaches and corresponding benchmarks.
- Describe the roles each team member plays in achieving Healthy Start program goals.
- Describe the unique structure of the local Healthy Start program and how the CHW role fits in with the local Healthy Start team.
Preconception & Interconception HealthPreconception & Interconception Health Module, you will be able to:
- Explain what preconception/interconception care is, why it is important, and discuss its basic components.
- Assist participants in developing and carrying out a Reproductive Life Plan.
- Educate about pre-pregnancy behaviors that can help achieve a healthy pregnancy and birth outcome.
- Identify medical and social risk factors that might put a future pregnancy at risk.
Prenatal HealthBy the end of the Prenatal Health Module, you will be able to:
- Explain what prenatal care is, why it is important, and discuss its basic components.
Educate about healthy behaviors in pregnancy.
- Identify warning signs and symptoms that mother and/or baby may be at risk and take action if necessary to connect participants to appropriate services.
- Help mother (and father/partner) prepare for labor and delivery, breastfeeding, care of the newborn baby, and family planning after delivery.
Postpartum HealthBy the end of the Postpartum Health Module, you will be able to:
- Explain what postpartum care is, why it is important, and discuss its basic components.
- Identify warning signs and symptoms that mother and/or baby may be having a serious medical problem and take action if necessary to connect participants to appropriate services.
- Recognize signs of postpartum depression and assist women in obtaining care.
- Educate about the importance of breastfeeding, answer questions about breastfeeding, and encourage continuing breastfeeding for at least 6 months, and navigate referrals as appropriate.
- Discuss reproductive life planning, the importance of spacing pregnancies, and contraceptive methods and how to obtain them.
Parenting & Child DevelopmentBy the end of the Parenting & Child Development Module, you will be able to:
- Explain the importance of well child visits including immunizations, and assist participants in finding a medical home for their infant/child and keeping recommended appointments.
- Educate about infant safety, including safe sleep practices for baby.
- Discuss the importance of and promote father/partner engagement with the infant/child.
- Identify and recognize milestones in child development and take action if necessary to connect participants to appropriate services.
- Discuss the importance of ongoing parent-child interactions, including reading to infants/children every day.
CHW Roles Modules – Expected in 2018!
Participant Screening & Community Assessment
Participant Empowerment & Community Engagement
Questions or technical issues? Please contact the Healthy Start EPIC Center, by email or by phone: EPIC Helpline 1-844-225-3713.
The Healthy Start EPIC center wishes to acknowledge and thank the many Healthy Start grantees who contributed to the development of the Healthy Start Community Health Worker course by participating in the course Advisory Group, CHW and CHW supervisor discussion groups, key informant interviews, video interviews, and user testing of the course. Many thanks to: ACCESS Westside Healthy Start, Babies First, Boston Healthy Start, California Border Healthy Start, Central Hillsborough County Reachup, Crescent City WIC-PIC, Enterprise Community Healthy Start, Genesee Healthy Start, Hartford Healthy Start, Healthy Start Detroit, Healthy Start New Orleans, Healthy Start Program of the Onondaga County Health Department, Ingham County Healthy Start, Kalamazoo County Healthy Babies Healthy Start, Loving Steps, Maajtaag Mnobmaadzid Inter-Tribal Council of MI Healthy Start, Magnolia Project, Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start, New Haven Healthy Start, Robeson Health Care Corporation Healthy Start, Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, and Strong Beginnings, as well as the 93/100 Healthy Start grantees who responded to the grantee survey, and the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA).