Close

Toledo Campus: Community Health Worker Certificate

Community Health Worker

signpost icon

Start your journey to a rewarding career in healthcare

Program Information Session

Because of the Affordable Care Act, a number of strategies are being adopted by health care organizations to maximize the quality of health care delivery, while also minimizing economic impact on the organization. One of these strategies is the implementation of the medical home or patient-centered medical home (PCMH), defined as a health care setting that facilitates partnerships between individual patients and their personal physicians, and when appropriate, the patient’s family. In order to provide this type of care, the primary care provider leads a team of professionals that helps with the coordination and delivery of care. The roles are still emerging and providers are trying a number of different strategies to accomplish care within this new environment. The CHW is an entry-level position which may help to satisfy this need. The traditional role of the CHW is expanding within the patient-centered medical home and may include additional roles in entry-level case management.

Community Health Workers typically do the following, although specific duties vary greatly depending on the type of work environment:

  • Contact/advise clients and community groups, regarding general health/wellness, diagnostic screenings, and follow-up, especially high-risk and vulnerable populations.
  • Assist with referral of clients to community resources based on individual needs.
  • Perform basic procedures, such as vital signs, blood pressure screening, breast cancer screening, or communicable disease screening.
  • Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
  • Advocate for individuals and communities and serve as a liaison between clients and providers.

Potential employers include the following:

  • Charitable foundation or government agency grants or contracts (county clinics or local organizations)
  • Government general funds (county hospitals, health departments)
  • Private sector organizations (hospitals, health plans)

Coursework in Community Health Worker certificate programs typically include the following content areas: medical terminology, cultural diversity, basic life support and first aid, community health specific topics such as advocacy, referral processes, documentation, and skills to complete home visits, as well as practical experiences in area community health settings.

Program Overview

The Community Health Worker Certificate program seeks to prepare students to work as part of the healthcare team to provide services as part of the “patient-centered medical home ” (PCMH). The program includes didactic, laboratory, and clinical components. The certificate program in Community Health Worker is established as a two (2) semester program of study. Classes are conveniently offered in a 2 day per week format in the first semester to accommodate the busy adult who often has work and other commitments to balance. The directed clinical practice, which occurs in the second semester, may take place during a variety of days and times, including evenings and weekends. In addition, there are courses that are currently being offered online or slated for online development in the near future. The program is 17 credit hours spanning two semesters.

Mercy College’s Community Health Worker Certificate program provides:

  • A start to a rewarding career in healthcare
  • Hands-on clinical experiences in a variety of community agencies
  • Eligibility for State of Ohio CHW Certification
  • Eligibility for Financial Aid

The Community Health Worker Certificate program courses begin in the fall semester (August).

Sample program of study for Community Health Worker Certificate.

Curriculum effective Fall 2019. For students enrolled prior to Fall 2019, please reference the Mercy College catalog.

The certificate completer will be able to:

1. Demonstrate basic knowledge of healthcare and health education across the lifespan in a community health setting.

2. Utilize interpersonal skills and community resources to effectively advocate for individuals and communities which they serve.

3. Demonstrate competence in service skills and responsibilities in a professional manner.

4. Articulate effective communication skills.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of health disparities and the role a Community Health Worker plays in improving health outcomes.

Career Outlook

Employment Growth

The job outlook is excellent for certified Community Health Workers as the job market expects a 21.8% increase between now and 2020. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, a number of strategies are being adopted by health care organizations to maximize the quality of health care delivery, while also minimizing economic impact on the organization.

The traditional role of the CHW is expanding within the Patient-Centered Medical Home and may include additional roles in entry-level case management. A local needs assessment indicated that area organizations may hire up to 40 Community Health Workers in the next three years.

[National Health Policy Forum, Community Health Workers Brief]

Salary Range

Salary Range

Nationwide, the mean hourly wage is $18.02, or $37,482 annually. Salaries up to $60,000 can be earned with management/supervisory roles and responsibilities. According to a local community needs assessment, average hourly wages in this region are approximately $14.60.

[Bureau of Labor Statistics, O-NET Online, Explore Health Careers]

Admission Requirements

Applicants must be a high school graduate with a grade point average (GPA) of at least a 2.0, or a general equivalency (GED) recipient with a score of 500 (score of 50 prior to 2002). If an applicant’s GPA or GED score is below the minimum, he/she may be eligible for admission under transfer student guidelines.

A transfer student must be a high school graduate or a GED recipient and have earned a minimum of 15 credit hours of college coursework from a regionally accredited college, with a GPA of at least 2.0. For applicants who have attended more than one regionally accredited college, GPA’s from all colleges must combine to equal at least a 2.0.

Criminal background checks, drug screens, health records, and immunizations are required prior to the start of the clinical program.