Miami CTSI

Community Health Worker Training Project Facilitates Certifications, Pilots Training Tookit


CHWs working with the Student Handbook, FL Dept of Health, Tallahassee, April 25, 2017.

Miami CTSI Community Engagement and Cultural Diversity Program Director Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., and manager and co-president of the Florida Community Health Worker Coalition, Brendaly Rodriguez, were recently highlighted in the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award Program Monthly Digest.

The piece focused on the progress made of the Statewide Partnership for Training Florida’s Community Health Workers in Patient-Centered Research project, which began in 2015.

Two years ago, the Miller School of Medicine, with Carrasquillo as principal investigator, along with the Health Council of South Florida and the Florida Community Health Worker Coalition received a $250,000 award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to develop a structured training program in patient-centered health care research for community health workers.

The project focused on increasing the knowledge and competency of community health workers, caregivers and patient advocates to be meaningful partners in all stages of research, from topic selection to dissemination and implementation of results.

Carrasquillo and Rodriguez have mobilized and lead a statewide partnership of diverse stakeholders ranging from federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), hospitals, patient advocacy groups, Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), health plans, and county health departments, in the development of a new healthcare worker certification in Florida. In two years, 573 community health workers were certified – a majority in Florida and the rest from states (Alabama, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, Georgia and Washington) that do not currently have certification.

In addition, they have developed and are finalizing a training toolkit that will be used nationwide in PCORI-funded research projects that include community health workers advancing research that is patient/stakeholder informed. During its piloting, 148 community health workers were trained in 12 sessions across Florida.

To learn more about the project, visit its web page.

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