The Truist Foundation has granted Health Care Access Now (HCAN) $33 thousand to expand its Community Health Worker (CHW) certification program.
- HCAN will use the funds to develop the CHW certification program in two ways:
- Redesigning its website to enable users to access more effective information on the CHW certification program.
- Providing stipends to certification program participants to help them overcome financial barriers.
- The certification program trains CHWs to serve as liaisons between health and social services and program participants to improve health outcomes.
HCAN aims to realize a 67% increase in recruitment, training, and graduation of individuals through the CHW certification program, creating more entry-level career opportunities for those who become certified.
[LEARN MORE: What is a Community Health Worker?]
Health Care Access Now (HCAN) received a grant in the amount of $33 thousand from the Truist Foundation, with the understanding that HCAN will use the funds to build career pathways toward economic mobility. The funds will be allocated toward efforts to expand the Community Health Worker (CHW) certification program.
Certified CHWs work one-on-one to provide care coordination services to community members. As liaisons between health and social services and the community, they improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
The CHW certification program recruits from the communities it serves. This creates a dual benefit: 1) Helping low- and moderate-income residents access beneficial skills training and career pathway opportunities, and 2) Fostering rapport with community members, as CHWs often have a deeper understanding of the barriers they face.
One of the ways in which funds from this grant will be used to further recruitment efforts by upgrading HCAN’s digital training platforms and presence. This includes a website redesign strategically planned to improve accessibility.
“Our goal is to reach the people who will make effective and dedicated CHWs. Adjusting our materials to more easily allow CHW certification program candidates to access information will help us do so,” says Sarah Mills, CEO of HCAN.
In 2022, HCAN surveyed its CHW program participants who were unable to complete the course. The most frequently cited reason for abandoning the program was lack of childcare. The secondary reason was inability to afford time off from work to attend class. To encourage student retention, funds from this grant will be used as stipends ranging from $200 to $2,500 based on individual need. These stipends are meant to be used to cover public transportation costs, gas expenses, childcare, lost income, and more.
“By providing financial support, HCAN hopes to remove barriers to success for CHW candidates and retain them in the certification program,” Mills says.
HCAN is grateful to the Truist Foundation for these funds, which will be applied for recruitment and retention of candidates for the CHW certification program. Over the next year, it is HCAN’s goal to realize a 67% increase in recruitment, training, and graduation of individuals through the CHW certification program, creating more entry-level career opportunities for those who become certified. And, through connections with employment partners, training, and resource navigation, certification positions CHWs to access opportunities for upward mobility.
About Truist Foundation
Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at Truist.com/Foundation.