The Center for Health Impact’s Outreach Worker Training Institute (OWTI) is a career-focused, college supported educational pipeline for Community Health Workers (CHWs) and CHW supervisors.
We offer certificate courses tailored to CHWs who may work in healthcare, social service, or other community-based agencies.
The Center has been a leader in CHW workforce development for decades, including representing Massachusetts in the 2005 National Community Health Worker Workforce Development Study, sponsored by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to study the value of CHWs in reducing health disparities within communities.
Our Center staff actively participate in initiatives to enhance CHW training, professional advancement and credentialing opportunities in Massachusetts, New England and nationwide.
Our interactive CHW training courses equip participants with networking experiences and practical tools for accessing health information, conducting health education and promotion, assist with disease prevention, making referrals, coordinating services, and navigating health systems to support clients and communities.
Our overarching philosophy is grounded in adult learning principles and our belief in the inherent value of CHWs. CHWs contribute to every aspect of OWTI training, including program and curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation.
We draw upon successful CHW training graduates as class co-instructors for future CHW training courses. Our primary instructional methodology is team-instructing with an emphasis on student-centered learning. We value a participatory learning environment for open discussion, in-depth examination of training content, and shared learning.
We offer generalist and specialized courses for CHWs. Generalist courses are designed for CHWs who work in various community outreach fields including health education, enrollment and advocacy. Specialized courses are designed for the CHWs/Patient Navigators (PNs) who support patients with specific health issues, for example, oncology or chronic disease management.
Our 80-hour CHW Certificate Course is based on standards from the National Community Health Advisory Study, Weaving the Future, a University of Arizona program directed by E. Lee Rosenthal, MPH, and funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation; and on the Massachusetts State Board of CHW Certification core competencies for CHWs. Health and disease-specific content is tailored according to community and agency needs.
Our CHW/Patient Navigator Supervisor Training Course focuses on the critical role of supervisors and the competencies they need to support CHWs’ work and integration into diverse clinical teams.