OHS, Community Health Worker Advisory Body Launch Community Health Worker Training Vendor Application Portal
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2021
Hartford – The Office of Health Strategy (OHS) and its Community Health Worker Advisory Body (CHWAB) today launched the Community Health Worker Training Vendor Application Portal, which is now accessible through the OHS website.
OHS developed the online portal so Community Health Worker Training vendors can readily submit an online application to be reviewed and approved by the Review Committee of the CHWAB.
This will streamline what is a rolling application process; the CHWAB Review Committee will meet quarterly to evaluate applications submitted via the new portal. Applications from community health workers must be reviewed, approved, and renewed every three years.
“Community health workers provide an invaluable, front-line resource for individual healthcare needs, and help guard against large-scale public health threats as well,” said OHS Executive Director Victoria Veltri. “These well-qualified, trusted workers bring expertise and a professional approach deep into the broad spectrum of Connecticut communities, helping reach those who are vulnerable and hard to reach, working to mitigate major disparities in access to care, and connecting residents as necessary to appropriate healthcare providers.”
“The objective of this new portal is to bring technology to bear to make it easier for all parties to comply with necessary – and statutorily mandated – monitoring and regulatory oversight,” Veltri added.
The important role of community health workers was recently fortified by funding in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) and Governor Lamont’s initiative to provide training for 100 community health workers through the state’s workforce development program.
“These past 15 months, community health workers have repeatedly filled the breach to help Connecticut respond to this pandemic, first with COVID testing, then contact tracing, and now with vaccination administration,” Governor Lamont said. “This new portal, to supplement federal ARP funding committed to additional community health worker training, will help streamline the process to replenish the ranks of this vital, tested, and proven public health resource.”
Established within OHS, the CHWAB advises the agency and the state Department of Public Health on matters relating to the educational and certification requirements for training programs for Community Health Workers.
“In the public health field, we join Governor Lamont, OHS Executive Director Veltri, advisory members and our many other partners in recognizing the unique value and contributions of community health workers,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford. “While playing many roles, CHWs are trusted members of the community, in tune with the needs of their neighbors for health education and guidance, and sensitive to addressing social needs like housing and food access. With improved access to training resources, they will be even better prepared to help protect and strengthen communities throughout our state. The Governor’s proposed allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act will not only train 100 CHWs, but will deploy up to 100 CHWs to work with families with young children who have been adversely impacted by COVID.”
The CHWAB conducts continuous review of educational and certification programs to provide the Department of Public Health with a list of approved educational and certification programs for Community Health Workers.
“The CHWAB is excited that the portal will be open to the public. Under the guidance of OHS, and in partnership with the Department of Public Health, we now have a streamlined process to approve Community Health Worker trainings. It holds CHW training vendors to a high standard,” said Michele Scott, Executive Director of The Health Education Center and Chair of the CHWAB. “Individuals seeking formal training and state certification can rest assured they are receiving the appropriate training when they go through an approved vendor. I am confident this will lead to more individuals receiving formal CHW training and certification to improve the health of Connecticut residents. I would be remiss not to thank the former Co-Chairs of CHWAB, Tekisha Dwan Everette and Delita Rose-Daniels who worked diligently to shepherd the board members early on.”
Contact: Laurence Grotheer
Office of Health Strategy