Community Health Workers are vital to APH’s goal of improving equitable health outcomes throughout Austin-Travis County
AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Public Health (APH) is now a Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)-Certified Community Health Worker Training Center and is launching a local Community Health Worker Hub. This training center and hub both continue efforts to improve health outcomes throughout the community.
The Community Health Worker Hub will support internal and external community health workers (CHWs) in their professional development and skillsets. APH will unite CHWs in Austin through certification training, continuing education training, coalition building and expanding network capacity.
“We’re excited to have this opportunity to support an important component of our community’s health,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “Community health workers are key to meeting people where they are and providing information and resources to promote and protect healthy living.”
A CHW is defined by the American Public Health Association as “a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.”
CHW certification involves meeting several competencies including communication, interpersonal skills, teaching, and knowledge on health issues.
“Community Health Workers are essential to Austinites. I was proud to champion investments in our public health workforce as it will make a difference in communities like mine where we face high rates of diabetes alongside food and healthcare deserts," said District 2 Council Member Vanessa Fuentes. "Today we celebrate the opening of a new training center and hub that will help expand our City's commitment to providing equitable care to our community.”
APH employs certified CHW instructors and certified CHWs. The Community Health Worker Hub will be a place for CHWs to continue their journey in servicing Austin and Travis County. More information is available on the HUB’s website.
“We’ve seen great success with our community health workers already, and this will only bolster that effort,” said Laura G. La Fuente, the interim Assistant Director for Health Equity and Community Engagement. “We encourage those current community health workers and those aspiring to join the ranks to take advantage of our training center and hub.”
The department recently launched its first training cohort with a fall class in development. Additionally, continuing education is being offered for those already certified. Interested community members can sign up to be notified of upcoming training events.
For questions about becoming a Community Health Worker, contact APH-CHWHUB@austintexas.gov.