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UCF Grad Students Designing Training Program for Community Health Workers

Community health care workers are expected to play an important role in the Affordable Care Act, but training for these workers can vary. So a group of UCF graduate students is working with Hispanic Health Initiatives to design a standardized training program that could potentially be used throughout the state.

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[UCF Instructional Design graduate students discuss strategies for building a community health worker training program]

Hispanic Health Initiatives uses community health care workers to reach Latinos at the neighborhood level and help them improve their health. When UCF Associate Professor Atusi Hirumi learned H-H-I wanted to train more workers- he saw it as an opportunity for both the organization and his instructional design graduate students.

“I haven’t been this excited about a project in this class for quite a few years, you know, we’ve had some exciting projects, we’ve worked with faculty at Rosen doing some hospitality training, we did a really nice training for hospice a while ago, I really think this has potential to make a difference in the community and beyond,” says Hirumi.

Hirumi’s students will spend the semester, and an estimated 40 hours, gathering and analyzing data that will then be refined into a training program. Essentially, they’re going to teach community health care workers how to teach about health.

“We’re hoping that when we leave this assignment, that the community health workers will have a framework of reference when they’re teaching their clients, they will have more specific strategies they can use, they won’t feel lost if they encounter a difficult situation,” says graduate student Erin Wasson.

Professor Hirumi says right now Florida has no standard curriculum for training community health care workers- so there’s potential the training program his students design could be adopted throughout the state. 


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