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Idaho Community Health Worker Training

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

1. What is a Community Health Worker?

Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who have a close understanding of the community they serve. This trusting relationship enables them to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
Community health workers are dedicated individuals who function along a continuum ranging from individual and community development to service delivery and promoting community empowerment and social justice. They often help link people to needed health care information and services.

2. Do I need to be a nurse or have a degree to be a CHW?

To be a Community Health Worker you do NOT need any specific credentials or degrees. Community health workers typically have deep roots or shared life experiences in the communities they serve. They share similar values, ethnic background and socio-economic status and usually the same language as the people they serve.


3. Who is eligible to take the training?

Currently, the course is open to students and their employers/sponsoring agencies that agree to participate in the SHIP initiative. To qualify, students must:

  • Be a current Idaho resident;
  • Agree to participate in the SHIP initiative and submit data to IDHW on a quarterly basis for one full year after completing the CHW training course;
  • Complete Student Application (more info)
  • Complete employer or community sponsoring agency application
    Application requires a letter of support from their employer or community sponsoring agency as part of the application process.

4. Is there a cost to take the course?

There is no cost for Idaho residents to participate in the course, however, students and their employers/community sponsoring agency must agree to submit information to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare after course completion. Failure to complete the course will require fee reimbursement in the amount of $350 from the student or employer paid to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

5. When and how will the class be taught?

Training will be delivered in 13-weeks of live in-class core curriculum and 5 additional asynchronous self-paced Health Specific Modules (HSM).   The Spring 2018 course will be delivered live, online via a web-based classroom on Thursdays beginning January 11th from 1800-2100 PM (MST).   The CHW core course includes 39 hours of live on-line or in-person learning plus an additional 9 hours of asynchronous Health Specific Modules for a total of 48 hours of coursework.

NEW:  There is a new in-person CHW course offering starting in April 2018.  Four consecutive Fridays, April 6, 13, 20 & 27th from 8am-5pm at the Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center at Idaho State University-Meridian. Instructors are Josh Campbell and Luis Lagos.  Apply

 6. Is there a penalty if I don’t complete the course?

Yes. There is a Statement of Understanding as part of the Employer/Sponsoring Agency Application that must be agreed to. “*I understand the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is sponsoring this training and failure to complete the course will require fee reimbursement in the amount of $350 from the student or employer paid to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.”

7. How do I access the course?

Once you receive your CHW Application Decision email from IDHW -

  • Visit
  • Press "Registration" and then "Enroll".
  • Create a new profile. Once your profile is created, you will be asked for the course access code to register. Enter the code that was provided in your approved CHW Application email.
  • Finalize enrollment by selecting "Complete" on the enrollment selection page.
  • You will now be registered. You may access course by following the "Moodle" class link from the "My Account" page.

8. What do I get for taking the course?

The purpose of this course is to provide a deep understanding of a community health worker as a public health professional who promotes full and equal access to necessary health and social services by applying his or her unique understanding of the experiences, language and culture of the communities he or she serves.

In actively participating and completing the course, you will:

  • Identify and define the role of a Community Health Worker
  • Examine and practice communications strategies with culturally-diverse populations and health providers
  • Identify and discuss health promotion concepts, health behavior changes, and outreach planning
  • Employ and practice assessment, care coordination, time management, documentation,
  • advocacy, and case presentation strategies
  • Review and identify barriers and literacy strategies to health care
  • Discuss and review common diseases effecting communities
  • Examine and practice health system and insurance navigation

Students who successfully complete the training will receive a certificate verifying course completion. Continuing Education credits are available for a small additional cost.

9. How do I print my Certificate of Completion?

After successful completion, you will receive an email with a link to your Certificate of Completion and printing instructions.

10. What do I do if I want the Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

This course is 4.8 CEUs. There is a $20 CEU recording fee per person per course. Midway through the course, you will receive an email asking if you will be requesting CEU’s and providing instructions on obtaining them. If you want CEU’s -- after the course is successfully completed, you will receive a form in the mail. You will complete and sign, enclose payment of $20 and return it to ISU. For further information: What are CEUs?

Online Class Technical Information

11. What equipment will I need to attend the online classes?

You will need a computer that has 256 MB RAM, 20 MB free disk space, Internet Access - (Broadband connection highly recommended) and a Soundcard with microphone and headphones (A headset with microphone/headphones is highly recommended).

12. How will I know what to do to get into the class?

To facilitate instruction, students are required to familiarize themselves with Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle and to test that their system is working before the first day of class. Instructors will not be able take time from class to answer technology questions, this is your responsibility. (also see FAQ about Moodle and FAQ about Blackboard Collaborate)

13. Where can I learn about Moodle?

Moodle is the Learning Management System for the CHW course. It is the gateway to Blackboard Collaborate, which is the virtual classroom.
Here is a general orientation video to help you become familiar with Moodle and how to use it:

To access the CHW Moodle page, go to and log in. From the “My Account” page, click on the class and you will be taken to the CHW Moodle page.

Please use Mozilla Firefox as your browser. Do Not use Internet Explorer as your browser; it is not compatible with various Moodle functions. If you experience a technical issue logging on to Moodle, please contact the office of Continuing Education and Workforce Training at (208) 282-3372. This office is open from 8AM – 5PM. There will be no technical assistance available after hours so be sure to get set up and test your system before 5PM on the day the course begins.

14. Where can I learn about Blackboard Collaborate (Virtual Classroom)?

Please complete the Participant Orientation tutorial on Blackboard Collaborate click on this link: Go through each of the topics under Contents on the left hand side of the page. This should provide you with a good orientation to the classroom.

Well before your first session, you will need to visit the First Time User Resource Page: Here, under Step 2, click on one of the four Configuration Rooms listed to test your connection, settings, and configure your audio.

You will likely need to download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher: In order to use Blackboard Collaborate, you must have Java installed (and updated) on your computer.

Once you have tested your system in the Configuration Room, log on to the CHW Moodle page and click on the Blackboard Collaborate Class Student Link under “Start Here” at the top of the Moodle page. This will take you to your Blackboard Collaborate virtual classroom.

You will also find this Blackboard Collaborate Reference Guide helpful in familiarizing yourself to the classroom

Institute of Emergency Management (IEM)

(208) 373-1764

(208) 373-1766

Institute of Emergency Management (IEM)

Idaho State University-Meridian

Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center

1311 E. Central Drive, Meridian, Idaho 83642


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209
(208) 282-4636

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