A smiling photo of community health workers.North Carolina Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) is offering four free online learning modules to address misinformation—especially in rural communities—around opioid use. Funded by a HRSA grant, the courses are available at no cost to community health workers, AHEC Scholars, peer support specialists, and health care providers across the state who are engaged in the care of clients with substance abuse disorders.

This series supports collaborative efforts between the NC AHEC Program and the Office of Rural Health within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) and other key stakeholders across the state to develop professional credentials for community health workers. The courses available on AHEConnect.com align with the NC DHHS Community Health Worker Initiative and their report published in May 2018.

The development of the modules was concentrated at Greensboro AHEC through a collaborative effort across service line teams, with Karen Phillips, Assistant Director of Education Technology, leading development and production.

“What’s exciting about these offerings is how they work across a number of our service lines to develop the skills and knowledge of community members to serve as part of North Carolina’s health care workforce,” said Terry Lynn, Director of Medical Education at Greensboro AHEC. “These courses are responding directly to a need in our rural and under-resourced communities across the state.”

Since its launch on September 1, the online series has seen over 2,000 individual course enrollments. Topics of the four courses include substance abuse and co-occurring disorders; stigma and stereotyping; integrating skillsets of peer support specialists; and collaborating with medical communities.

Completion of the opioid education learning modules will provide 1.0 contact hour and .01 CEU per course. For more information on how to register, please visit www.OpioidEd.com. To view our other online opportunities in continuing professional development, visit AHEConnect.com.

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