Haywood Community College now offers a Community Health Worker Certificate Program through the Workforce Continuing Education Department. Classes start February 3 and will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-10 p.m. and four Saturdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Community Health Workers are frontline public health workers who serve as a link between health/social services and the community in order to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. Workers in this field build capacity at the individual and community level by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities.

Community Health Workers provide interpretation and translation of services as needed; assist people in receiving the care they need; provide informal counseling and guidance on health behaviors; are an advocate for individuals and community health needs; and provide some direct services such as first aid and blood pressure screenings.

Workers in this field want to help those in need as a volunteer or as a paid position, in association with local health care systems and public health care systems in both urban and rural environments. Some key roles for this position include cultural liaison, health navigator, health & wellness promoter and advocate. Students will learn core competency skills such as communication, service coordination, interpersonal, advocacy and outreach.

The Community Health Worker program will teach participants the required knowledge, tools and resources to become a certified Community Healthcare Worker. Graduates can work in a variety of settings such as health departments, hospitals, clinics and more.

Program cost is approximately $180 for tuition, books and fess. For more information, please call 828-565-4103 or email klhoyle@haywood.edu.