ABSTRACT Institute for Education in Healthcare Rhode Island College Alger Hall, Ste. 242 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave. Providence, RI 92908 Dr. Marianne Raimondo, PI Dr. Sarah Lawrence, Co-PI (401)456-6359 (401) 456-9036 Mraimondo@ric.edu Slawrence@ric.edu https://www.ric.edu/institute-education-healthcare https://chwari.org/ Total Costs 9/1/2022 – 8/31/2025: $2,664,176 Total Direct Costs: $2,595.981 Total Indirect Costs: $68,195 This project seeks to advance Rhode Island’s public health by bolstering the community health worker workforce to address social and health inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This project will be led by the Community Health Worker Association of Rhode Island, part of the Institute for Education in Healthcare at Rhode Island College, and build upon its mission to ensure CHWs have the skills to meet the health and social service needs of underserved Rhode Islanders. Community organizations partnering in the project include five federally qualified community health centers and the RI Parent Information Network, a nonprofit serving children and families with special needs. This project creates a pathway to recruit new and existing CHWS, and provide core and enhanced training leading to employment as an apprentice in organizations serving highly vulnerable populations. The goals of the program are: 1) to expand the CHW workforce in RI, training 225 CHWs; 170 new and upskilling 55 existing CHWs towards certification 2) Enhance CHW training with learning in emergency preparedness, technology/digital literacy, vaccine hesitancy and Mental Health First Aid 3) Transition 225 CHW trainees into a registered apprenticeship supported with wrap around services, on the job supervision, employment readiness, and financial support 4) Advance 18 existing CHWs to a higher level apprenticeship, incorporating a 30 hour specialty training in public health to expand knowledge and skills of CHWs working in public hea
lth settings. To best serve targeted communities, new CHWs will be recruited from populations experiencing poverty, social stigma, discrimination, language barriers and health inequities. CHWARI will partner with the RI Dept of Health to deliver enhanced curriculum and with Apprenticeship RI to design the apprenticeship model. CHWARI’s track record in forging alliances among partners working towards healthcare transformation, and spearheading innovative training and career ladders positions RI to integrate more fully CHWs into sustained public health efforts. This project promises a long lasting impact on repairing a woefully inequitable health care system and empowering disadvantaged populations to become more resilient, especially in the face of public health emergencies, the likes of which we have experienced and continue to face today.