Public and Community Health
About Our Programs
Public and Community Health
Choose from a Certificate of Achievement in Community Health Work (see below) or Public Health Science, AS-T.
More About the CHW Certificate Program
What You'll Learn
The Certificate of Achievement in Community Health Worker trains students to be frontline agents of change who serve as advocates for issues related to social determinants of health to reduce health disparities within the communities they serve.
Students will learn skills required to help individuals and communities adopt healthy behaviors, access resources, and navigate complex governmental systems.
Upon successful completion of the certificate program, students will be prepared to enter the health care field as community health workers—serving as navigators, educators, and informal counselors that connect community members and patients in hard-to-reach populations with clinical and governmental services to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
Program Learning Outcomes:
- Students will be able to apply informal counseling and motivational interviewing techniques when communicating with individuals, groups, and communities related to patient goals and outcomes
- Students will be able to accurately disseminate culturally competent health education to individuals, groups, and communities
- Students will be able to help patients navigate complex government applications for social services
Become Part of a Health Care Team
Many community health workers will be integral components of a health care team, often serving as a liaison between clinicians and patients to provide informal counseling, case management, and health care system navigation.
The community health work certificate program includes a direct pathway into a career serving as a community health worker within an array of organizations, including local government, clinics, insurers, health maintenance organizations, non-profit community-based organizations, etc.
Why Become a Community Health Worker Now?
As health care shifts towards patient-centered and cost-effective care, community health workers ensure that clients receive culturally relevant healthcare, reducing both emergency departments visits and hospitalizations while increasing the use of primary care.
Community health worker services will be included as a Medi-Cal benefit starting July 1, 2022, thus expanding the opportunities and need for community health workers.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are essential health care workers who connect community members and patients—in hard-to-reach populations— with clinical and governmental services to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
CHWs often share similar life experiences, values, and language with the populations they serve, which in turn develops relationships based on a foundation of trust and connection.
Goals of Our New CHW Program
The certificate program will provide opportunities to improve health disparities and health outcomes within individuals through coursework but also serve as a route to employment opportunities for individuals typically underrepresented in the healthcare industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the CHW program the right one for me?
If you have the following skillsets and interests, the CHW program is a good fit for you!
- Outgoing, trustworthy, eager-to-learn?
- Passionate about helping people, especially those within vulnerable populations?
- Willing to work in person at sites, including clinics and community-based organizations?
What does a CHW do?
CHWs are integral parts of a health care team serving as health navigators, health educators, and informal counselors. CHWs work in a number of roles including preventive work, chronic disease management, health education and outreach, informal counseling, health advocacy, health navigation services, health behavior change, and violence prevention.
Where do CHWs work?
A community health worker works in the field within organizations, including local government, clinics, insurers, health maintenance organizations, non-profit community-based organizations, etc.
What does an internship look like?
Depending on the site location, interns may be responsible for the following:
- providing health navigation
- discussing and problem-solving health directives
- connecting patients with community and medical resources
- making home visits to at-risk individuals
- enrolling clients in health-related programs
- facilitating health education classes
- developing health educational materials
- providing health outreach, etc.
What's the salary for a CHW?
In the SF Bay Area, you'll earn from $19.83-$28.02/hr. (Note: This is Labor Market Data from 2020.)
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