A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of, or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables a CHW to serve as a link between health and social services and the community to help individuals access services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self‐sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, providing information to support individuals in the community, social support, and advocacy.

Community health workers go by many titles, depending on where they work, who they work for, and what they do. Common titles include promotores(as) de salud, health coach, community health advisor, community health coach, lay health advocate, family advocate, community health care worker, health educator, liaison, promoter, outreach worker, patient navigator, health interpreter, public health aide, community health representative, outreach specialist, and more.

Voices of Hope Community Health Worker Certification program includes training on ethics, professionalism, working wellness, resume writing, interviewing practice and job retention practices. Internships may be at one of Voices of Hope programs or through one of our participating organizations throughout Maryland.

Maryland’s CHW Core Competencies:

1. Advocacy and community capacity building skills

2. Effective oral and written communication skills

3. Cultural competency

4. Understanding of ethics and confidentiality issues

5. Knowledge of local resources and system navigation

6. Care coordination support skills

7. Teaching skills to promote health behavior change

8. Outreach methods and strategies

9. Understanding of public health concepts and health literacy

To achieve Community Health Worker Certification, one must complete 100 hours of training, 40 hours of internship and exam.

Enrollment in this Voices of Hope Training Program is ongoing on a rolling basis. To receive more information or to begin the enrollment process, call (443) 993-7055 and select option 3.