Community Health Worker Program

Bridging Community and Systems for Better Health and Well-Being

Community Health Worker Integration into Primary Care Advanced Medical Homes

Community Health Worker (CHW) services and programs are crucial in helping Advanced Medical Homes improve chronic disease self-management and health outcomes, enhance the patient experience, reduce emergency room utilization and hospital readmissions, as well as impact health equity and overall healthcare costs.

View the videos below to hear directly from Community Health Workers and healthcare providers working in NC about the important role that CHWs play in improving individual and community health.  

Promo Video: View via Google | View on YouTube

Case Study Video: View via Google | View on YouTube

Duke Story: View via Google | View on YouTube

El Centro Hispano Story: View via Google | View on YouTube

The NC AHEC Community Health Worker (CHW) Program supports the development of a qualified and sustainable CHW workforce well equipped to advance health equity. While NC AHEC serves as an anchor partner in the NC CHW Initiative, the NC DHHS Office of Rural Health serves as the lead agency. For more information about our work, contact Cathryn Chandler at

NC AHEC Practice Support is available in partnership with NC DHHS Division of Health Benefits. Practice Support coaches are able to support primary care practices interested in adding CHWs to their teams or optimizing existing CHW programs. This service is available at no charge to your practice. Visit the NC AHEC’s Practice Support webpage for more information, or contact us via email at to seek assistance.

CHW Workforce Training & Support


This training is offered through the NC Community College System and is required for CHW Certification in North Carolina. Learn more by visiting

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NC AHEC, as an anchor partner in the NC CHW Initiative, is committed to ensuring that Community Health Workers have access to ongoing training and professional development resources.  As a vital workforce for advancing health equity, it is important that CHWs are able to deepen their knowledge and sharpen their skills for providing all North Carolinians with the opportunity for health and wellness.  Through funding provided by the NC DHHS Department of Health Benefits (Medicaid), NC AHEC has worked with other key stakeholders, including CHWs and CHW supervisors, to develop standards for CHW Specialty training, identify key training topics, and develop a series of online modules specifically geared towards preparing CHWs to partner with primary care practices as part of the new Medicaid Managed Care network.   

Each module provides continuing education credit recognized by the NC CHW Association for the purposes of maintaining certification.  Some modules stand alone in terms of the topic covered while others can be combined to deepen CHW knowledge and skills on a particular topic.  Each module has been co-developed with CHWs to ensure the focus of learning and style of education reflects CHW culture and real-life scenarios.  This module is divided into sections focusing on an overview of NC Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care, the role of CHWs in Medicaid Managed Care, and the role of CHWs in client advocacy.   

CHW Integration into Advanced Medical Homes:
NC AHEC is developing self-paced online specialty training programs to prepare CHWs and practices for CHW integration into primary care as part of Medicaid Managed Care. Training programs will be released in English and Spanish on a rolling basis beginning February 2022. This service is also supplemented with Practice Support coaches with expertise in CHW optimization within your practice or Advanced Medical Home. Click on the links embedded in the training program titles below to learn more and to register.

Introduction to Healthy Opportunities Pilots for CHWs
Introduction to Care Management for High-Risk Pregnancies (CMHRP)
Introduction to Care Management for At-Risk Children (CMARC)
Adolescent Health
ADHD (Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder)
Chronic Disease Prevention and Intervention
Chronic Disease Medication Adherence
Documentation in Client Record
Motivational Interviewing Conversations: Clients with Common Health Conditions
Working with Special Populations: LGBTQ
Care Management for CHWs
Introduction to Motivational Interviewing for Community Health Workers
Introduction to Health and Wellness Coaching for Community Health Workers
Resource Coordination
Behavioral Health Conditions:  Depression and Anxiety
Working with Clients with Behavioral Health Conditions
Overview of Medicaid Managed Care

NC AHEC Programa de Capacitación Especializada de CHW: Introducción a el entrenamiento de salud y bienestar para Promotores de Salud
Programa de formación especializada para CHW (siglas en inglés para Promotor de Salud) de NC AHEC: Introducción a la entrevista motivacional para Promotores de Salud
Programa de formación especializada de NC AHEC para CHW: Conversaciones de entrevista motivacional: Clientes con Condiciones Médicas Comunes
NC AHEC Programa de Capacitación Especializada de CHW: Visión Conjunta de Administración de Medicaid
NC AHEC Programa de Capacitación Especializada de CHW: Determinantes Sociales de la Salud

COVID-19 CHW Training for NC AHEC CHW Initiative:
This self-paced online course helps connect the health workforce to COVID-19 related community-based resources for patients and their families. Available in English and Spanish.

These training programs are being developed with support from the NC DHHS Division of Health Benefits and will be made available free of charge.

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This ECHO-based series brings CHWs from across the state together to support shared learning. The series is co-hosted by CHWs with topics selected through input from participants. Sessions are held monthly every third Thursday at noon. Live English-Spanish interpretation is provided.

Resources for Effective CHW Integration

This series of webinars seeks to build awareness and understanding in a wide audience across the state about Community Health Workers (CHW) and CHW program models that can inform and benefit CHW integration strategies and activities in NC. There is a lot of strong and impactful CHW integration work going on in NC and across the country.  As a state, we are in the early phases of spreading and scaling CHW integration. It is important that we learn from those who have been leading this work to ensure that NC’s CHW integration approaches are the most impactful, equitable, and authentic (grounded in CHW culture).  Click on the title below to access a recording of the webinar.

March 17, 2023 | An Introduction to Community Health Workers (CHWs) in North Carolina (passcode: 62%x3rJX)
This hour-long webinar features Honey Estrada, CHW, MPH, President of the NC CHW Association and focuses on information that will help learners to: identify the history, roles, and impact of Community Health Workers in North Carolina; outline the role of the NC CHW Association in CHW Workforce Development; describe Community Health Worker models of best practice including community-based and clinical settings.

This tool is an evidence-informed comprehensive resource that includes a gap analysis, implementation resources, and a project management plan for integrating new or optimizing existing CHW programs in Advanced Medical Home settings. NC AHEC Practice Support coaches are able to assist you with the use of this tool as part of your CHW optimization efforts. For more information, please contact

The Toolkit was developed with support from the NC DHHS Division of Health Benefits, NC AHEC, and the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation.

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Two 8-session ECHO series will be offered in 2022 to Advanced Medical Homes (AMH) interested in preparing for, optimizing, and/or implementing CHW services and programs. This series is offered in conjunction with 1:1 support from an NC AHEC Practice Support coach as needed by the practice or AMH.

These ECHO series will be offered with support from the NC DHHS Division of Health Benefits and will be made available free of charge.


All past AHEC Bulletins.

State of AHEC recordings

AHEC Learning Academy recordings

Other Staff Training Opportunities (May Require Registration)

Program Office Resources


Group Charters:

The objective of these Group Charters is to share clear guidelines, outline roles, and have consistency across the groups led by the Program Office.


Vaccination Information

Last updated March 22, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is continuing to develop and update core resources on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration. Visit for more information and resources as they become available. The page is also available in Spanish at

Community Care of North Carolina and NC AHEC also have a joint webpage with additional resources regarding the vaccine.

Vaccination Volunteer Module

The NC AHEC Program, led by Charlotte AHEC, is offering an online module titled Volunteer Training for COVID-19 Vaccination Sites free to the public in North Carolina. This training provides a general introduction to what volunteers might expect onsite and can be supplemented with additional onboarding by their vaccination team.

NC COVID-19 Vaccination Guide for Medical Practices

NC AHEC Practice Support offers a Vaccination Guide toolkit, providing information on what Medical Practices need to know now about the COVID-19 Vaccine.

How to Establish a Community-Based Vaccination Site for the COVID-19 Vaccine

This playbook offers a brief outline of the process by which a vaccine administration event can be established by a church or civic organization within the local community.

Basic Medicine and Critical Care Skills

Last updated May 6, 2020 at 2:28 p.m.

Lectures and Provider Tip Sheets

The following recorded lectures and tip sheets offered by NC AHEC and the UNC School of Medicine are designed to inform and support heath care professionals through increased patient volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Basic Medicine Refresher Lectures

View the full playlist.

Abdominal Pain
Alcohol Withdrawal
Altered Mental Status in Inpatient
Back Pain
Chest Pain I
Chest Pain II
Dental Pain
Heart Failure I
Heart Failure II
Panic & Generalized Anxiety Disorders
Skin Emergencies and Infections
Vaginal Bleeding

Information for Re-entry Providers

Critical Care Refresher Lectures

View the full playlist.

Airway Management for COVID-19 Patients I
Airway Management for COVID-19 Patients II
Altered Mental Status in Emergency Medicine
ARDS and Ventilator Management I
ARDS and Ventilator Management II
GI Bleed
Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
Mechanical Ventilation I
Mechanical Ventilation II
Mechanical Ventilation III
Psychiatry in Emergency Care
Introduction to Emergency Medicine

Travel Guidelines

NC AHEC Travel Guidelines for UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty, Staff, and Students

EFFECTIVE April 1, 2021

The NC AHEC Program currently assists in supporting the travel needs of faculty, staff and students from 19 UNC-Chapel Hill schools and departments. These NC AHEC-related activities include student housing needs to sites away from the academic health science centers, as well as faculty and staff travel to continuing professional development programs, technical assistance visits, specialty clinics, and other teaching and NC AHEC Program activities. NC AHEC support is intended to assist with travel expenses incurred while participating in approved NC AHEC educational programs and other NC AHEC-related work. NC AHEC support is not intended to cover all expenses.


Student travel is not eligible for mileage reimbursement.


The nine regional AHECs provide student housing in 50 counties across the state. NC AHEC housing is short-term lodging for use when health science students are completing community clinical rotations; it is not meant to replace a student’s permanent residence. The majority of housing is in rented apartments, but also in AHEC-owned condominiums/houses or rooms-for-rent in private residences.

NC AHEC housing is accessible to students from a variety of health science schools across the state, but students are not required to use this housing (students may make their own lodging arrangements).  Students are required to apply for housing at

UNC-Chapel Hill schools and departments are charged a $7.00 per night fee for their students’ use of NC AHEC housing. Each school may have different guidelines for use of AHEC housing, so please check with your school/course coordinator before applying for housing.


NC AHEC travel reimbursement is provided for faculty and staff activities which are consistent with the NC AHEC Program Work Statement Definitions and fall within the specific letter of agreement for each school or department. If AHEC activities conducted by a school or department are supported with non-AHEC funds (i.e. contracts, grants, clinical income, fees, or honorarium), the travel associated with those activities is not reimbursed by the NC AHEC Program. If there are questions about whether travel for specific activities is reimbursed, faculty are requested to contact the NC AHEC Program Office prior to travel.

Travel reimbursement is provided to NC AHEC liaisons and other faculty attendance at meetings or conferences at the request of the NC AHEC Program Director. Reimbursement is not provided by NC AHEC when faculty attend professional meetings or conferences for their own professional development.

We recognize that faculty travel to all NC AHEC sites is critical to the success of our programs. Given AHEC budget constraints and current reimbursement rates for using personal vehicles, we encourage faculty and staff and departmental travel coordinators to work together to secure UNC Chapel Hill Enterprise Rent-A-Car contract vehicles or UNC Air flights as needed.

NC AHEC Mileage Reimbursement Policy (rates effective April 1, 2021)

No mileage reimbursement for local mileage will be made for within 35 miles (one-way) or 70 miles (round trip) of destination from the closer of either the duty station or point of departure (e.g. home). NC AHEC mileage reimbursement is based on standard mileage between cities and not actual odometer mileage.

  • Mileage is measured from the closer of either the duty station or point of departure (e.g. home) to destination over 35 miles (one-way) based on standard mileage between cities on (not Google Maps).  For standard mileage information, type the two cities into the Google search engine and click search. The distance between the two cities will appear as the first result. For example, go to Google search, type in “Chapel Hill, NC to Fayetteville, NC” and search. The mileage listed is 73.6 miles; standard mileage reimbursement paid by AHEC between Chapel Hill, NC and Fayetteville, NC is 74 miles.
  • When the round-trip is over 71 miles from closer of either the duty station or point of departure (e.g. home), traveler will be reimbursed at 56 cents per mile for the total round trip.

NC AHEC Policy to pay for UNC Enterprise Rent-A-Car contract vehicle (formerly Carolina Motor Pool)

UNC Chapel Hill Enterprise Rent-A-Car contract vehicles are available for NC AHEC related travel.

  • UNC Enterprise Rent-A-Car contract vehicle (formerly Carolina Motor Pool) reservations are required to be made in advance by calling the Air Transportation Coordinator at UNC  Air Operations office at RDU Airport at 919-840-1980.
  • The on-line reservation form can only be completed by the Air Transportation Coordinator.
  • UNC Enterprise Rent-A-Car contract vehicles can be picked up at any rental location, eliminating the need to come to campus first. Enterprise will also pick you up on request.
  • The reservation requires the address of the Enterprise location preference for vehicle pick-up.
  • To reduce administrative processing for gasoline reimbursement, the Traveler is required to choose the “Post-Pay Gas” option when returning the vehicle. Enterprise Rent-A-Car guarantees your rental vehicle will have a minimum of a quarter tank of fuel upon pickup. Unless gasoline is needed during the trip, traveler should not fill the gas tank.
  • As a general rule, an intermediate size car will be reserved for all travelers.  If a larger vehicle is needed, please specify the need for an exception at the time of reservation.

UNC Air Operations Flights paid with AHEC state travel funds

  • NC AHEC state travel funds will pay for pre-approved passengers on NC AHEC related UNC Air Operations same day flights. Prior approval is required if a passenger requires an overnight stay.
  • UNC Air Operations information and passenger eligibility policy can be found at:


Prior approval is required at least three weeks in advance for faculty and staff needing overnight accommodations for AHEC-related activities. In order to make overnight lodging arrangements at acceptable and reasonable rates, travelers should contact the local AHEC for lodging suggestions prior to making reservations. Travelers are encouraged to ask if “State Employee hotel rates” are available. Excess lodging expenses must be justified if hotel rates, excluding taxes and surcharges, exceed $400 per night, if staying in one of the following high-cost cities: Boston, New York City, San Francisco and the Bay Area, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. If those limits are exceeded, travelers must complete Form 1302.1f Excess Lodging Justification and obtain their supervisor’s approval and signature before traveling.

Per Diem Allowances

Breakfast: $9.00
Lunch: $11.80
Dinner: $20.50
Lodging: $75.10
Total: $116.40

Breakfast: $9.00
Lunch: $11.80
Dinner: $23.30
Lodging: $88.70
Total: $132.80

Meals During Travel
NC AHEC follows the State of North Carolina policy for meals during daily travel which states:

Overnight Travel Status

Employees may be reimbursed for meals for partial days of travel when in overnight travel status and the partial day is the day of departure or the day of return. The following applies:

Breakfast: depart duty station prior to 6:00 am and extend the workday by 2 hours.

Lunch: depart duty station prior to Noon (day of departure) or return to duty station after 2:00 p.m. (day of return).

Dinner: depart duty station prior to 5:00 p.m. (day of departure) or return to duty station after 8:00 p.m. (day of return) and extend the workday by 3 hours.
The travel must involve a travel destination located at least 35 miles from the employee’s regularly assigned duty station or point of departure (e.g. home), whichever is less.

Same Day Travel

No per diem meal allowance for same-day travel.


NC AHEC travel reimbursement must be submitted within 30 days from the date of travel.

NC AHEC travel funds support over 19 on-campus schools and departments.  NC AHEC travel funding is contingent on the school or department’s ability to process travel authorization/reimbursement in the University’s web travel system for their faculty and staff on AHEC-related travel.

The NC AHEC Program Office does not create or complete travel authorization/reimbursement for on-campus faculty and staff. The school or department initiates the travel authorization/reimbursement in the UNC-Chapel Hill web travel system and electronically sends to the NC AHEC Program Office for approval.

NC AHEC travel reimbursement processing details can be obtained by contacting NC AHEC Financial Manager Pratyush Mehta at (919) 966-0810 or


For questions concerning NC AHEC travel policies and procedures, please contact NC AHEC Financial Manager Pratyush Mehta at (919) 966-0810 or