Community Health Worker (Entry-Level) Course - La Grande

Access this exclusive on-demand OSU webinar: "Better Healthcare. For Less. How Community Health Workers Are the New Antidote"!

Oregon State University WorkSpace is pleased to partner with Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences and Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO) to offer an innovative online Community Health Worker (CHW) training.

Offered through a multi-year partnership, this course is specifically designed to support progress in public health outcomes and provide meaningful career pathways for health care staff serving in the region.

Our upcoming course is offered in a flexible online format that is mostly self-paced, with only two required on-site events in La Grande, Oregon.

Residents of the following counties will receive a discounted rate of $800: Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wheeler. Enter county of residence during checkout to receive discount.

To receive more information when registration opens, please select the Request More Information button to the right-hand side of this page.

Community Health Worker Roles and Careers

The primary role of the Community Health Worker is to serve as a link between a community and its health and social service systems in order to improve access to and delivery of services, and build capacity for individuals/families/communities to promote their own health and well-being.

Though roles vary from one organization to another, CHW roles typically include the following responsibilities:

  • Assist members of the community to improve their health and increases the capacity of the community to meet the health care needs of its residents and achieve wellness.
  • Provide health education and information that is culturally appropriate to the individuals being served.
  • Assist community residents in receiving the care they need.
  • Offer peer counseling and guidance on health behaviors.
  • Provide direct services such as first aid or blood pressure screening.

Community Health Workers provide a wide range of services on behalf of organizations, connecting community members with appropriate medical and social resources.

Community Health Worker Training

By the end of this eleven week CHW training, you will learn how to:

  • Identify and describe Interpersonal Skills relevant for CHWs including organization; communication; cultural competence; and skills relevant to group facilitation, crisis identification, and de-escalation.
  • Identify and describe your personal preferred and other common learning styles.
  • Identify and describe strategies for self-efficacy and self-care to prevent burn-out as a CHW.
  • List and explain core elements of the CHW profession, including history, professional roles, scope of practice, code of ethics, and legal responsibilities.
  • Define and illustrate knowledge of factors related to Determinants of Health and Health Promotion including disease, social determinants of health, health disparities among diverse populations, health across the lifespan, trauma-informed approaches to care, stages of change for behavior change, best practices in health promotion, and health literacy.
  • Identify and describe key components of Assessment, including types of data and their implementation; individual assessment; community needs assessment; resource identification and mapping; and documentation of contacts including within systems.
  • List and compare Capacity Building skills and techniques such as community engagement, empowerment, and advocacy.
  • Define and illustrate knowledge of adult learning principles, popular education methods, and motivational interviewing techniques.
  • Identify and describe Service Coordination skills and techniques related to navigating systems; working with families, support systems, and community groups; working with supervisors and multidisciplinary teams; building partnerships and managing conflict; and organizing communities.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to integrate and apply organization, communication, and cultural sensitivity knowledge and skills relevant to CHWs.

CHW Overview

This course is designed to prepare the student for work as an entry-level Community Health Worker (CHW), while also equipping health care staff serving in other roles with a community health perspective. It addresses all competencies required for approval as a CHW training program in Oregon:Students who complete and pass the course are eligible to apply to become certified CHWs in Oregon.

This flexible course is offered in an innovative hybrid format. Students complete a series of online learning modules (70 contact hours) and attend 2 on-site classes (15 contact hours).Prerequisites:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Reading and writing proficiency in English language

Create new opportunities to serve Oregon community members within your organization!

This innovative course equips you to think big picture about improving the region’s health - by considering each community member’s unique health, cultural and social needs.This training program has been approved by the Oregon Health Authority to provide certification training for traditional health workers. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about Oregon’s Traditional Health Worker training and certification program, contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion:

Course Schedule and Required Dates

  • January 6, 2020 - Registration closes
  • January 13, 2020 - Class starts
  • January 15, 2020 - 1st mandatory in-person class (full day)
  • February 19, 2020 - 2nd mandatory in-person class (full day)
  • March 6, 2020 - 1st mandatory virtual session (2 hours; time tbd)
  • March 13, 2020 - 2nd mandatory virtual session (2 hours; time tbd)
  • March 25, 2020 - 3rd mandatory in-person class (full day)
  • March 29, 2020 - Class ends
Jan. 13 - March 29, 2020
Eleven weeks
price (2)


Ann Custer, MPH, OTR, CHES

Ann supports OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences in building capacity of the current and future public health and human sciences workforce to meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities. Her work focuses on managing a portfolio of professional development offerings related to public health and human sciences. It involves collaboration with a variety of internal and external partners, including faculty, industry, and governmental agencies.

Sunil Khanna, Ph.D.

OSU faculty member Sunil Khanna is a medical anthropologist interested in examining the complex interrelations of biology, culture, gender, ethnicity and health. In addition to his teaching and research efforts, Sunil serves as co-director of School of Biological and Population Health Sciences.

Professor and Head of the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences

Past Student’s Work

Take a look at out portfolio and some recent projects we’ve done