2023 sessions have been added.  Priority will be given to those granted funding by the Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers and Office of Health Equity (CDC 2109 or vaccine equity).   

To register for AKHCAN trainings please contact Kellie Warren at  

Training dates are: 

April 2023 (registration closed)

July 2023

August 2023

November 2023

Training registration fee is $1,000 per participant and includes all materials.   Limited scholarships are available for government and non profit agencies.  Contact to request a scholarship application.


Appalachian Kentucky Health Care Access Network (AKHCAN)
Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Model

AKHCAN supports CHW programming as an effective strategy for improving healthcare outcomes for people facing health related barriers. The effectiveness of CHW programming is dependent on many factors, none of which are more important than quality training.

The competency based and comprehensive AKHCAN Training Model includes curricula developed by AKHCAN, as well as national, state and local experts. AKHCAN, after thorough research and dialogue with other states, has adopted valuable content used throughout the nation and material currently employed CHWs have assessed to be relevant to their work.

It is delivered via a combination of classroom and online settings, incorporates adult learning principles and addresses visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. The AKHCAN Training Model arms CHWs with knowledge and skills related to eight specific core competencies which serve as the center stone of quality CHW programming.


The AKHCAN CHW Training Model is based on a tiered training process.   The “Core Requirements” tier is intended to be delivered to new CHWs as their first entry into the training process and covers material essential to all CHWs, regardless of their place of employment.  To prioritize information and allow trainings to build upon one another, tier one is designed to be completed in a specific sequence.

Public Health Concepts and Approaches
The knowledge base for CHW practice is strongly influenced by the field of public health. Public health is a science-based discipline that focuses on protecting and promotion population health, preventing illness and injury, eliminating health inequities, and working to improve the health of vulnerable communities and populations. CHWs, like other public health practitioners, understand that individual health is shaped by family, community, neighborhood and wider social conditions. These conditions, include education, poverty, housing, safety, transportation and other “social determinants of health.” Areas of common focus may include maternal and child health, prevention of injuries, infectious diseases, chronic diseases, and mental and behavioral health problems.

CHWs: Who We Are, What We Do, & Why We Do It
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the role of CHW programming from a historical and modern perspective and demonstrates how the CHW workforce contributes to improved health outcomes. It includes information and tools essential to the occupation, including, CHW definition; code of ethics; core competencies; scope of practice; CHW role in the community; and CHW limitations and boundaries.

Promoting Good Health
CHWs are promoters of good health. This training includes elements of health and healthy lifestyles, including: physical activity; nutrition; mental health; injury & violence; clinical preventive services; and infectious disease prevention.

Mental Health First Aid
CHWs may interact with individuals confronting mental health issues. This training teaches risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and provides information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and addiction disorders. Additionally, it teaches a five-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis. It explores professional, peer, and self-help resources.
8 hours in classroom – Provided by Mental Health First Aid Master Trainers. Available through AKHCAN and many local organizations

Documentation, Reporting & Outcomes Management
CHWs help promote coordinated and effective services by documenting their work activities, including writing summaries of client and community assessments. They often present data outcomes, and other relative information to agency, community partners, local, state and federal stakeholders about their clients and issues they face. When available, CHWs use computer technology and communicate in English: however, alternative arrangements may be made in order to utilize valuable linguistic capacities, cultural experience, and community relationships that individual CHWs may bring to their work.

Documentation and Data Matter
This course provides an overview of CHW forms, how they are used and why they are critical to CHW programming. A connection will be made between documentation and service delivery. Effective and efficient writing skills will be discussed, as will consequences, related to poor or lacking documentation. Additionally, course will discuss strategies to address literacy barriers.

Effective and purposeful communication is listening carefully and communicating respectfully in ways that help build trust and rapport with clients, community members, colleagues and other professionals. Effective communication includes a mix of listening, speaking, gathering and sharing information, and resolving conflict. CHWs are open about their roles, responsibilities and limits. CHWs protect client privacy and confidentiality. They convey knowledge accurately, clearly and in culturally aware and responsive ways. They are able to use language and behavior that is responsive to the diversity by ethnicity-race, culture, geographic location, physical or mental disabilities and sexual ordination they encounter in their work.

Home Visiting 101
Explores the unique experience of home visiting, including, how we enter, greet and respect someone’s home; conducting a risk and safety checklist; assessing fall prevention needs; addressing insect infestation and maintaining personal safety during home visits. Guest speakers may include local law enforcement or other home visitors.

Providing and understanding information: The connection
Overview of effective and ineffective use of verbal and non-verbal communication; understanding cues; active listening skills; and the “how to” of constructing contracts, agreements, and other plans with clients. Address the different ways adults learn and information delivery methods to help clients not only receive, but also understand what is given to them. Provides strategies for reaching visual, audio and kinesthetic learners and real-life examples of how to use written and visual aids when working with program participants.

Legal, Ethical & Professional Conduct
CHWs know how to handle ethical challenges as they address legal and social challenges facing clients and communities they serve. Client confidentiality and privacy rights must be protected in the context of employer and legal reporting requirements. Care for clients must be balanced with care for self. CHWs must act decisively in complex circumstances but also utilize supervision and professional collaboration. They must observe agency rules and the regulations governing public and private resources while exercising creativity in helping community members meet their individual and family needs.

Laws that Protect
People have rights and many of them are protected by law. CHWs need to understand these rights and help those with whom they work understand them as well. Participants will be provided an overview of HIPAA, American with Disabilities Act, reporting laws, guardianship, power of attorney, and Living Wills – including, advanced directives and health care surrogacy.

Recognizing & Reporting Maltreatment
Community Health Workers visit people in their homes. When working, they may encounter situations of abuse, neglect and other forms of violence. CHWs will learn the warning signs of various types of abuse; reporting requirements and resources available to individuals and families confronted with maltreatment or violence.

Organizational & Community Outreach
Outreach is the process of contacting, engaging with, and helping people to learn about and use resources to improve their health and well-being. Outreach may be conducted with individuals, groups, organizations, and at the community level. In outreach, CHWs “meet people where they are,” building relationships based on listening, trust, and respect. This can take place in diverse settings, including where people live, work, learn, worship, socialize, play, exercise, and conduct business. There are a variety of outreach methods, such as phone calls, in person conversations, group presentations, distribution of print and electronic information, mass media and social media. Effective outreach is based on learning about community needs and strengths, knowledge about available resources, and sensitivity to personal and cultural dynamics that affect behavior and relationships.

Reaching Out
Outreach is the process of contacting, engaging with, and helping people to learn about and use resources to improve their health and well-being. This training provides an overview of the who, where and how of effective outreach and utilization of outreach strategies.

Knowing Appalachia and Rural Kentucky
Rural Kentucky is known for beautiful landscape, horse racing, tobacco farms and southern hospitality. Unfortunately, it is also known for high chronic disease rates. Most rural areas of Kentucky are designated as health professional shortage areas, and/or medically underserved community/population. CHW programming is effective in addressing the barriers to quality health care in Appalachia. This training provides an overview of the Appalachian region and culture.

Poverty: A Social Determinant of Health
This training provides an overview of poverty and how it is the most critical social determinant of health (SDOH). You will gain a better understanding of how poverty affects your physical and mental health, health care access, and education. Participants will learn how to help clients seek resources needed as a result of poverty while advocating on their behalf.

Diversity & Equity
Outreach is helping people to learn about and use resources. Cultural competence and sensitivity to personal and cultural dynamics that affect behavior and relationship are critical components of effective outreach. This training explores the importance of understanding culture; prejudice and bias; stereotyping; discrimination and cultural influence on decision making. Health literacy, ongoing self – assessment and ongoing education are discussed as important strategies for achieving cultural competency.

Advocacy & Community Capacity Building
Advocacy is working with or on behalf of people to understand their rights and gain access to resources. Capacity building is empowering people to develop the confidence and ability to assume increasing control over decisions and resources that affect their health and well-being. Community capacity building involves promoting individual and collective empowerment through education, skill development, networking, organizing, and strategic partnerships. Advocacy and capacity building go hand-in-hand and can help create conditions and build relationships that lead to better health. Capacity building requires planning, cooperation, and commitment, and it may involve working to change public awareness, organizational rules, institutional practices, or public policy.

ABCs of Assistance Programs & Building Your Binder
Reviews SNAP, KTAP, WIC, KPAP, KPC, DCBS and other financial assistance and social programs. Explores the ever-changing nature of community resources; how to build a resource directory specific to your community; how to keep information current; and what information and materials to keep with you when making home visits or meeting with clients. Additionally, this course takes a hands-on approach to learning about, accessing and providing health information in the areas of women’s health, men’s health, child development and oral health. Activities will include gathering information and resource material regarding overall health, preventative screenings, and more.

Addressing Substance Abuse
An overview of substances commonly abused, including, alcohol; marijuana; synthetics; opiates; prescription medication and other non-consumable substance abuse. Discusses behavioral and environmental warning signs CHWs may recognize and resources for those experiencing substance abuse issues.

CHWs and Suicide Prevention
An overview of suicide, risk factors, warning signs and information CHWs need when confronted with a potential suicide risk.

Health Coaching
Promotes education for healthy behavior change by providing people with information, tools and encouragement to empower them to improve their health and stay healthy over time. CHWs “meet people where they are,” respecting their experience and their abilities to learn, take advantage of resources, and set priorities and goals for changing their own behavior. CHWs work with clients, family or community members, and with providers to identify strategies to develop solutions to increase opportunities for healthy behavior. The CHW acts as an educator and health coach, using a variety of techniques to motivate and support behavior change to improve health.

Navigating Health Care Coverage
This training helps participants to understand the health care system in the United States including the various types of health care coverage and providers. Navigating Health Care Coverage provides information on who is eligible for various types of insurance and when, practical ways to understand insurance terminology, and how to access health care services in your community.

NOTE: The content and delivery of this training will be determined by the current status of Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act, etc. at the time it is given and will be provided by AKHCAN in partnership with the Department for Public Health, MCOs and others as appropriate.



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