Success with CHWs Asthma

CHW education & training

AnneWillaertSmallIn Minnesota, CHW education includes:

  1. Standardized, competency-based education based in higher education
  2. On-the-job training
  3. Continuing education

Together they provide a strong educational framework for the CHW profession.

Minnesota is the first state in the U.S. with a statewide, competency-based CHW educational program based in accredited post-secondary schools. The 14-credit program is a blend of classroom and field-based learning for those who have a high school diploma or GED, at a minimum. The curriculum is designed to articulate with other health professions preparation programs in nursing and allied health so that it is an educational pathway—not a dead-end.

Introduced in 2005, the program content has already been revised once, in 2010. Future revisions will reflect broad input and the growth of CHW models in a variety of health care, human services and community settings.

For more information, see the Minnesota CHW Curriculum (PDF). This nationally-recognized curriculum was developed at Minnesota State University, Mankato, with generous grant support. Under the auspices of the Healthcare Education Industry Partnership, a statewide, multi-disciplinary, cross-sector group including CHWs first created Minnesota’s CHW scope of practice and then developed and piloted the competency-based curriculum. For additional background, download the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation’s 2010 report on Community health workers in Minnesota (PDF).

In addition, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Lung Association (ALA) hosts Asthma 101 training for local CHWs. Download the Asthma 101: What You Need to Know for Community Health Workers presentation (PDF)Another excellent resource is the National American Lung Association’s free interactive learning module Asthma Basics.

For more information, contact Cheryl Sasse, RRT, Director, Lung Health at
ALA in Minnesota at Cheryl.Sasse@lung.org.