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

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 Gwen Arnold at gwen.arnold@ncahec.net.

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 practicesupport@ncahec.net to seek assistance.


CHW Workforce Training & Support

NC CORE COMPETENCY TRAINING

This training is offered through the NC Community College System and is required for CHW Certification in North Carolina. Learn more by visiting www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/office-rural-health/community-health-workers/community-health-worker-training.

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CHW SPECIALTY TRAINING

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 three 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.

Care Management for CHWs – English version
Introduction to Motivational Interviewing for Community Health Workers – English version
Introduction to Health and Wellness Coaching for Community Health Workers – English version
Resource Coordination – English version
Behavioral Health Conditions:  Depression and Anxiety – English version
Working with Clients with Behavioral Health Conditions – English version
Overview of Medicaid Managed Care – English version

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.
English: www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/64098/training-for-the-community-health-work-initiative
Spanish: www.seahec.net/courses-and-events/67188/training-for-the-community-health-worker-initiative-spanish-version–formacin-para-la-iniciativa-del-promotores-de-salud-versin-en-espaol/6

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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MONTHLY CHW PEER LEARNING COLLABORATIVES

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

NEW! CHW INTEGRATION & OPTIMIZATION TOOL
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 practicesupport@ncahec.net.

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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ECHO FOR CHW INTEGRATION INTO ADVANCED MEDICAL HOMES
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.

Intranet

All past AHEC Bulletins.

State of AHEC recordings

AHEC Learning Academy recordings

Other Staff Training Opportunities

Program Office

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 https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines for more information and resources as they become available. The page is also available in Spanish at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vacuna.

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.

Medicaid Managed Care

Medicaid Managed Care
Webinar Series

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health Benefits and North Carolina AHEC are offering an evening webinar series to help providers, practice managers, and quality managers succeed with Medicaid Managed Care.

Hosted by Shannon Dowler, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the NC Division of Health Benefits, the Medicaid Managed Care webinars on the 3rd Thursday of the month are dedicated to bringing you late breaking information and guidance on NC Medicaid’s transition to Managed Care.

Topics will vary, but each session will include an open question and answer period. Upcoming topics will include: pharmacy and durable medical equipment, behavioral health, transitions of care, specialized therapies, quality measures, network adequacy, provider directory, billing, incentive payments, clinical coverage policy updates, and more. 


Medicaid Managed Care Webinar Series:
Fireside (Winter)/Back Porch (Spring) Chats on Hot Topics

Hosted by Shannon Dowler, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NC Division of Health Benefits. Moderated by Hugh Tilson, Director of the NC AHEC Program.

Every 3rd Thursday of the month from 5:30-6:45 PM

August 18, 2022 | Tailored Plan 101: Ready, Set, Launch Series  
September 15, 2022 | Medicaid Hot Topics
October 20, 2022 | Medicaid Hot Topics
November 17, 2022 | Medicaid Hot Topics
December 15, 2022 | Medicaid Hot Topics


Webinar Series: Quality & Population Health

This series, formerly the Advanced Medical Home (AMH) Webinar Series, is designed to support providers, practice managers, quality improvement professionals, care managers, and clinically integrated networks (CINs). All webinars are from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Join us for one or for all!


Virtual Office Hours for Providers

Medicaid Transformation Provider Services and North Carolina AHEC are offering a series of Virtual Office Hours for providers. These sessions offer an interactive format for providers to ask questions on a variety of Medicaid Managed Care topics.

September 1, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. | Provider Enrollment
December 1, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. | Provider Enrollment


2nd Annual Virtual Statewide Quality Forum

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health Benefits and North Carolina AHEC, in conjunction with the five Medicaid managed care health plans, will host the 2nd Annual Virtual Statewide Quality Forum on August 11, 2022 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. to help providers, practice managers, and quality managers succeed with Medicaid Managed Care quality initiatives.
This information session will cover the following topics:
Statewide Medicaid Standard Plan Metric Outcomes
AMH Metrics: Maximizing Data Capture
AMH Support

We hope you can join us!

Access the August 11, 2022 Slides

Access the October 12, 2021 Recording, Slides and Transcript.


Webinar Series: Healthy Opportunities

North Carolina’s Healthy Opportunities Pilot program is an unprecedented opportunity to test the integration of evidence-based, non-medical interventions into the state’s Medicaid program. The Pilots will provide non-medical services to qualifying Medicaid members across four domains: housing, food, transportation and interpersonal violence/toxic stress. Critically, frontline care managers working in Pilot regions will play an essential role in identifying members that may benefit from Pilot services, recommending appropriate services and coordinating their care.

Join us for webinars designed for frontline care managers at the first 3 CINs to participate in the HO Pilots (essential); other frontline care managers serving Pilot regions are encouraged to attend.

In addition to the above webinar series, we are offering the following courses:
Using Motivational Interviewing to Support the Healthy Opportunities Pilots: This course employs effective techniques to quickly build rapport with cases and contacts. Creating a relationship that is non-judgmental and builds on the client’s strengths will allow for a much more productive exchange of information. This technique is critical in working with known COVID-19 cases and contacts. You can register for this course here.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training – Cultural Humility: This course includes training on Cultural Humility 101 and Culturally Responsive Clinical Care, both of which are required training for Care Management Entities participating in Healthy Opportunities Pilots.  Culturally responsive care is an essential component of ensuring the services individuals and families receive are person-centered, compassionate, and highly effective.  

In addition, building the skills and capacity for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) takes time to learn and integrate into patient care.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that HO Pilot participants add to their calendar completing additional trainings, such as Implicit BiasStructural RacismCommunication in Healthcareand Microaggressions


Webinar Series: Dental Provider Educational Sessions

The NC Medicaid Dental Policy Team and the Office of Compliance & Program Integrity (OCPI) Team hosted two (2) Dental Provider Educational Sessions in Spring of 2022 for the following: Dentists/ Specialty Dentists, Office Managers, Front Desk/Insurance Coordinators, Dental Hygienists, and Dental Assistants.



Health Plan Virtual Meet & Greets

Health Plan Meet & Greet live sessions concluded on April 8, 2021.

Contact Tracing and Case Investigation Skill Development for COVID-19

In collaboration with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) Program has prepared a training curriculum that can be utilized for individuals with Local Health Departments (LHD), University and College programs, vendors providing Contact Tracing and Case Investigation for the state and volunteers and other individuals who are interested in knowing more about Contact Tracing and Case Investigation in North Carolina to help slow and end the COVID-19 pandemic.

All individuals completing these modules will get a thorough understanding of the process of Contact Tracing.  To become proficient in this skill, those completing the course must receive additional mentoring and guidance in the settings where they may work.  As an example the original trained workforce of the Carolina Contact Tracing Collaborative or CCTC which is a joint effort of CCNC and NC AHEC through the NC DHHS has a network of trained Regional Supervisors, Team Leads and educators.  You will hear CCTC mentioned in several places so know this relates to the original workforce that started at 250 and is now over 1,000.  All other entities managing a Contact Tracing workforce such as the LHDs should also have supervisory staff to guide the tracers. Other entities will need to plan this supervisory role into their managing structure.

CCTO User Training

Live trainings for CCTO Users are offered with topics including updates and enhancements to the CCTO Tool and common Help Desk issues. A live Q&A is held at the end of each session to give attendees an opportunity to ask questions and request demonstrations of certain CCTO features. The trainings will continue until they are no longer needed.

July 26, 2022 | Community Health Workers Training: Recording and Slides

All About Vaccines: Recording, Slide Deck and Assessment
COVID-19 Vaccines: Recording, Slide Deck and Assessment
Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy: Recording, Slide Deck and Assessment
Contact Tracing Script Readthrough: RecordingSlide Deck, and Link to Contact Tracing Script

Access a full archive of materials for this webinar series here.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training ORIENTATION

MODULE 1          Orientation to Public Health in North Carolina

Time Commitment: 1 hour

This program is presented by the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill. It provides an excellent overview of the work of public health in each community and our state.  The role of disease surveillance has been with us for a very long time and it is our public health responsibility to serve communities to keep them safe from these communicable diseases like the Coronavirus. 

MODULE 2          Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers                                        

Time Commitment: 3.0 hours

In this course, trainees will have the opportunity to participate in a 3-hour training.  The Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers course is offered jointly by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and National -Coalition of Sexually Transmitted Disease Directors (NCSD). The ASTHO/NCSD training is strongly recommended to ensure that learners understand the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, including COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, and control measures; components of effective interviewing; cultural sensitivity and confidentiality in communicable disease

MODULE  3          Cultural Diversity and Implicit Bias

Time Commitment: 1.0 hour

Contact Tracing requires a high level of relationship building and respect for the diverse population that will be served.  This course introduces learners to key areas to consider and appropriate conversations to respect diversity, equity and inclusion.

MODULE  4          Putting It All Together; Workflow

Time Commitment: 1 hour

The process of Case Investigation and Contact Tracing follows a particular pattern in NC.  This module puts the pieces of workflow and interviewing together. Who should be doing what and when?  It also includes information about Isolation and Quarantine.

To register, go to https://www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/63430. You will be asked to create a MyAHEC account if you do not have one already.

Motivational Interviewing for COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

This 5-module course on Motivational Interviewing employs effective techniques to quickly build rapport with cases and contacts.  Creating a relationship that is non-judgmental and builds on the client’s strengths will allow for a much more productive exchange of information.  This technique is critical in working with known COVID-19 cases and contacts.

Time Commitment         2 hours

Motivational Interviewing Techniques
Motivational Interview (role play video in English)
Motivational Interview (additional video in English)
Motivational Interview (role play video in Spanish)
Motivational Interview (additional video in Spanish)

To register, go to https://www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/64802 You will be asked to create a MyAHEC account if you do not have one already.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing ADVANCED TOPICS

MODULE 1          Skills for Effective Communication  

Time Commitment         1 hour

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a successful contact tracing interaction. That includes building rapport, active listening and asking the right kinds of questions. In this module, which is from the Coursera John Hopkins Contact Tracing program, you will read and watch several examples that demonstrate how and how not to have productive conversations.  

MODULE  2          Ethics of Contact Tracing and Technological Tools

Time Commitment          1.5 hours     

This course from the Coursera John Hopkins Contact Tracing program clearly defines privacy, confidentiality and autonomy as it relates to Contact Tracing.  In addition, the course offers an excellent overview of the tools that are being used in Contact Tracing and as you learn about NC efforts you will note our State is implementing these tools.

MODULE  3          Subsets of the General Population

Time Commitment         1 hour

This is a “must do” lesson.  Many subgroups make up the population in NC who can have vulnerabilities that increase their risk of contracting COVID-19.  Best practices for engaging people in these population subsets are essential to establishing rapport and providing assistance.

To register, go to https://www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/63703. You will be asked to create a MyAHEC account if you do not have one already.

COVID-19 Case Investigation

Time Commitment          4.5 hours

This 6-module training course is designed for those individuals who will fill the role of a Case Investigator. This role is usually given to those who have experience in the Contact Tracing process. The focus of this course is to introduce the process of Case Investigation and then to give recorded videos of the Interview process in both English and Spanish.

Case Investigation Training Modules

1.            Etiology and Pathology of COVID-19
2.            A Day in the Life of a CI
3.            Conducting an Interview
4.            Eliciting Contacts
5.            Common Issues
6.            NC-COVID Part II Form

To register, go to https://www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/64277. You will be asked to create a MyAHEC account if you do not have one already.

COVID-19 Community Team Outreach (CCTO) Tool

Time Commitment          1.25 hours

This training is a series of recorded modules designed to highlight the most important functions of the Community Team Outreach Tool, otherwise known as CCTO. Each module consists of a software demonstration video accompanied by written reference materials.

Audience
Community workers engaged in COVID-19 public health efforts

To register, go to https://www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/66376. You will be asked to create a MyAHEC account if you do not have one already.

COVID-19 Field Safety Presentation

Time Commitment         45 minutes  

This presentation shows the proper process for donning and doffing PPE which is necessary for field visits.  Basics of field safety are presented. This module does not provide the extensive training necessary to be skilled in Field Visits and Surveillance.  Any staff participating in Field Visits must be with trained Field Visit staff from a Local Health Department.

To register, go to https://www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/64803. You will be asked to create a MyAHEC account if you do not have one already.

COVID-19 Workforce Training Additional Resources

  1. NC Division of Public Health Communicable Diseases Resource
  2. A Focus on Interviewing: these are recorded video examples of interviewing that can provide helpful tips.
  3. CDC Website
  4. Public Health in NC: full 2.5 hour course
  5. John Hopkins Contact Tracing Course presented by Coursera

To register, go to https://www.ncahec.net/courses-and-events/64804. You will be asked to create a MyAHEC account if you do not have one already