Kettering College Receives Grant for Community Health Worker Program
Story by Courtney Dove
Kettering College has been awarded a grant aimed at creating and implementing a comprehensive education program for community health workers in Dayton, Ohio. The funding will be effective immediately through September of 2025, awarding $1,847,399 to the university.
Community health workers (CHWs) are grassroots health workers who live in the communities they serve. They work with their friends, families, and neighbors to bring reliable health information and services to under-resourced communities. This is especially true for communities that are predominately minorities.
Kettering College, a division of Kettering Health, will develop, implement, and evaluate a new community health worker training program (CHWTP) focusing on recruiting students from West Dayton and Trotwood, where many under-resourced people of color reside.
Nate Brandstater, president of Kettering College, says, “Although Kettering College is focused on degree programs, we recognize the value of certificate and short-term training programs that can enable our graduates to serve our communities.”
Kettering college will partner with several community-based organizations to refer potential students, provide experiential learning sites, and assist with job readiness and placement. The college will also work with a local organization to develop the first apprenticeship program for CHWs in the Dayton area.
A portion of the grant funding will be used to develop and implement a continuing education program for current CHWs. Stakeholders from these organizations will be invited to be part of a community advisory committee, where they can offer advice and direction to ensure the program stays connected to those who will be served by it.
The program is being developed to meet the requirements for certification from the Ohio Board of Nursing, which certifies CHWTPs and individual CHWs. The program will include planning and development time, with cohorts of students beginning late in the first budget year. Objectives of the program include:
* Create, develop, and implement a CHWTP combining at least 100 hours of classroom learning and 130 hours of experiential learning
* Recruit, enroll and train CHW candidates, of which at least 50 percent will be people of color
* Provide students wraparound services to eliminate barriers to participation
* In collaboration with community partners, provide job readiness and placement for students
*In collaboration with a local organization, launch the first apprenticeship program for CHWs in the greater Dayton area
* Increase the number of employable CHWs in the Dayton area who attain certification and represent the disadvantaged populations they serve.
Brandstater says, “Kettering College continues to seek ways to transform lives through innovative healthcare education. Our Community Health Worker program will ensure that people in our community get support and assistance they need to get and stay healthy. We are very grateful for this grant that will provide funding needed to develop and deliver this valuable program.”