Compiled by the Massachusetts-based Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, the Community Health Worker Orientation Toolkit is a standardized training playbook for newly-hired Community Health Workers (CHWs). The toolkit offers dozens of templates, activities and work scenarios for healthcare organizations interested in learning how best to support their patients through coordinated and structured care.
The Orientation Toolkit is organized into five sections, designed to be completed by Community Health Workers with the guidance of supervisors. The authors recommend that learning opportunities be deployed in the first six months post-hire .
Community Health Worker models aim to improve patient outcomes, increase access to care and address social determinants of health by providing a bridge between healthcare organizations and their communities. The team at Kennedy CHC states this vision can be achieved through five working goals in CHW programs:
- Keep patients connected to their medical home and helping them adhere to their plan of care
- Reduce barriers to care by addressing psychosocial needs and providing education, resources, support, and navigation
- Engage patients to become active members of their healthcare team and participate in making decisions about their care and reaching their health goals.
- Provide feedback to staff and patients on cultural issues that may affect patients’ health; including ways to address health disparities and meet QI goals.
- Offer access to people who need a medical home and provide outreach to community members and organizations to help in this effort
The Community Health Worker Orientation Toolkit offers a wealth of information, resource links and additional support that applies to just about any community health worker training effort.