Recently, the National Community Health Worker Training Center (NCHWTC) was contacted by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) to provide continuing education units to Community Health Workers in El Paso and San Diego. NCHWTC Instructors, Ms. Katharine Nimmons, Dr. Julie St. John and Ms. Paula Saldaña as well as affiliated Instructor, Ms. Denise Adame, facilitated the trainings over the past week, reaching over 150 individuals.
The NRHA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research, thus having services requested by the NRHA is a great opportunity for the NCHWTC to continue to expand its national presence. Ms. Nimmons notes that “the NRHA’s focus on border issues and health outcomes, in addition to their support for CHWs, makes them a great partner for our training center.”
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trusted members of the community, with a close understanding of the culture, language and life experiences of the populations they serve. Additionally, CHWs are certified and trained to provide health education and information, acting as a liaison between communities and physicians or health service providers. Each of these characteristics support the NRHA’s mission, explaining why CHWs are a perfect fit for these trainings.
For both trainings in El Paso and San Diego, the NCHWTC provided continuing education units on the Practical tips for getting it DONE: Diabetes, Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise. Each five-hour training consisted of presentations, group work and individual activities to prepare each CHW to inform their communities on the prevention and treatment of obesity and related health issues.
The El Paso training was conducted by Ms. Katharine Nimmons, NCHWTC Research Associate and CHW Instructor, as well as Ms. Denise Adame, a former graduate assistant and NCHWTC affiliated instructor. This specific training was conducted in Spanish and reached 70 CHWs. Ms. Nimmons states that the instructors were “thrilled with the opportunity to deliver training to CHWs working in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Mexico this week”, and felt that the training was highly successful.
The San Diego training occurred in conjunction with the Border Health Symposium: Power of Collaboration, which is sponsored by the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission. Dr. Julie St. John, former NCHWTC Director, and Ms. Paula Saldaña, CHW Instructor, conducted the training in Spanish and reached 55 CHWs. Additionally, Dr. St. John was selected as a panelist at one of the symposium sections entitled, “The Role of Academia in Generating Knowledge About Border Health and Implementing Health Intervention Projects.”