The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has forged a strong, multi-sectoral partnership to create the Iowa Community Health Worker Training Initiative. Building on existing Community Health Worker (CHW) training already in place, project partners will be prepared to commence work immediately upon grant award. This funding will allow CHW training to reach CHWs from across the state, thus building resources, resilience, and capacity in communities to address the social needs of under-represented Iowans. This funding opportunity came at a very good time. Iowa has not kept pace with other states in embracing the value and incorporating CHWs into health and human services systems. However, that is now rapidly changing and there is significant momentum building in support of adding CHWs to care teams across sectors, and the State of Iowa has great interest in fostering additional utilization. This funding opportunities allows our partnership to rapidly scale up the required CHW training components already in place. Over the term of the project, we will train 288 CHWs in a comprehensive, skills and competency-based training and 75 CHWs in a Department of Labor-approved CHW Registered Apprenticeship program. In addition, a Public Health Leadership Training course will be developed to train 120 current CHWs and other health support workers. While project partners expect to deploy a statewide approach to this project, data will help us focus on the target population: those from rural areas of the state, and/or those at or below 250% FPL. Project partners each contribute extensive expertise, capacity, and - importantly – their own networks and partnerships to this initiative. Those partnering with IDPH on this work include: • Des Moines Area Community College • Iowa Chronic Care Consortium • Institute for Public Health Practice • Iowa Workforce Development • Iowa Community Health Worker Alliance With this partnership in place, the Iowa Community He
alth Worker Training Initiative will be able to utilize available data to identify areas and populations of the state with the greatest need. The ability to target recruitment and training CHWs in those neighborhoods, communities, and regions will result in the greatest impact on reducing barriers. We know that by connecting individuals and families with services and supports, we will build healthier Iowa communities and reduce the impacts of COVID-19, poverty, isolation, and other social determinants that hold individuals, families, and under-represented populations back from living their best lives. With robust CHW training, an approved Apprenticeship, extensive partnerships, and state-level leadership in place, these grant funds will be utilized to build additional public health training, further target recruitment in underserved communities, and scale up training and utilization of CHWs in Iowa. Apart from the additional public health training, development time will be minimal and federal grant dollars therefore maximized.