Federal grant will aid Troy University in training, placing Community Health Workers

Left to right are: Dr. Wade Forehand, Dr. Javier Boyas, Dr. John Garner and Ghandi Daniels.

Left to right are: Dr. Wade Forehand, Dr. Javier Boyas, Dr. John Garner and Ghandi Daniels.

A $3 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will enable Troy University’s College of Health and Human Services to develop and administer a certificate program to train Community Health Workers.

The three-year grant will be administered through the University’s School of Nursing and School of Social Work and Human Services and will train and place Community Health Workers in underserved areas within the state to help educate and direct residents to available services.

“This grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration is the single largest competitive grant that we have received in the College of Health and Human Services,” said Dr. John Garner, Dean of TROY’s College of Health and Human Services. “We are very happy to collaborate with the Wellness Coalition in Montgomery to train and place Community Health Workers in and around the state of Alabama to help improve the health of Alabamians.”

Ghandi Daniels, Executive Director of The Wellness Coalition, said her agency was excited about partnering with TROY in the program.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Troy University to have a Community Health Worker training program within the state,” Daniels said. “We are looking forward to working with and placing the individuals within the program with apprenticeship opportunities, as well as job placements.”

The free, online training program, which will consist of 10 modules that must be completed along with a 60-hour field experience component, will span about 12 weeks and be delivered online through the University’s Continuing Education and Outreach department. The first training session is expected to begin in early spring.

“This grant will help in expanding Alabama’s front-line healthcare workforce and to improve health outcomes for all Alabamians,” said Dr. Wade Forehand, Director of TROY’s School of Nursing. “The Community Health Care Worker Training Program will focus on training individuals to aid vulnerable and underserved communities across our state. Through our collaboration with the Wellness Coalition and other clinical partners across the state, we seek to provide internship placements and assist our trainees with employment opportunities following completion of the program.”

Community Health Workers are trusted members of their communities who empower their peers through education, helping to connect residents with to available health care resources.

“Community Health Workers are lay members of the community who have taken up the charge to bridge the gap between the health care structures and the communities in which they live,” said Dr. Javier Boyas, Director of TROY’s School of Social Work and Human Services. “Their role in the community would be to help encourage people in the community to seek services, to go have their health screenings, to make them aware of services that are available.”

The University is currently building the curriculum for the program and seeking to identify communities by counties within the state where the greatest needs exist.

In addition to the training and potential job placements, participants will receive funding to assist them in successfully completing the program.

“The free training program will also provide participants with support and resources to assist with technology needs as necessary to help them successfully complete the program,” Dr. Forehand said.  

Those interested in the program should visit, www.troy.edu/communityhealth, and may contact Dr. Forehand at jforehand@troy.edu or Dr. Boyas at jboyas@troy.edu for additional information.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3 million. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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