The Franklin County commissioners approved more than $1 million Tuesday for crib distributions, health-care efforts and tobacco cessation programs, all aimed at reducing infant-mortality rates.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Friday, September 28, The Ohio State University College of Nursing announced new funding for the Community Health Worker Training Program. The Franklin County commissioners will provide $180,000 of funding for three cohorts of trainees, totaling 75 newly trained community health workers. In collaboration with CelebrateOne, many community health workers will be hired to help combat the area’s high infant mortality rate.
“Research shows when you have community health workers, rates of infant mortality drop, blood pressure in people is more controlled and diabetes is prevented,” Bernadette Melnyk, Ohio State’s Chief Wellness Officer and Dean of the College of Nursing, said at the press conference on Friday. “I have no doubt with this investment that in two years we will have an awesome story to tell about how the program has dropped the infant mortality rate here in Franklin County.”
The American Public Health Association defines a community health worker as “a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served.”
The Community Health Worker Training Program at Ohio State is a 12-week certificate program that creates an entry path for paraprofessional training within a community-based health workforce model. The aim of the program is to provide workforce training for residents from high poverty communities to prepare them for roles as community health workers.
“The Community Health Worker Training Program was a life changing experience for me,” Virginia Nunes Gutierrez, a trainee of the program, said. “The program trains community members to identify the root causes of poor health outcomes in our underserved populations and then gives them the tools to address those things. It trains them to be true advocates for their communities inside of the healthcare and social service system. It’s a solution for the community that comes from the community and that’s why it’s so effective.”
The program includes 104 hours of classroom and 130 hours of practicum. The practicum hours are to be completed in weeks 6 – 12. If you would like more information on Ohio State’s community health worker program, please visit our website.
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