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CHWs Are Health Equity Champions: PA AHEC Program Director

Community health workers (CHWs) are champions of health equity, Pennsylvania AHEC Program Director Dr. Ben Fredrick told attendees at the First Annual CHW Conference at the end of September.

Dr. Fredrick presented maps showing widespread and persistent health disparities and gaps in social determinants of health within communities across Pennsylvania.

By serving their own communities, meeting people where they are physically and mentally, and advocating for each individual patient, Dr. Fredrick said CHWs are a vital health equity workforce.

The CHW Conference was coordinated by the Eastcentral PA AHEC and Northcentral PA AHEC centers along with Temple University. Planning is under way for a second CHW Conference next fall.

All seven of Pennsylvania AHEC’s regional centers offer a state-approved CHW training program that leads to CHW certification under the Pennsylvania Certification Board.

We also offer continuing education for certified CHWs in collaboration with Project ECHO at Penn State College of Medicine. We are excited to be able to continue that continuing education/statewide learning community series for three more years under a new CHW Training Program grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).


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