Inaugural Class of Community Health Workers Graduate from Central Arizona College

By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing

Central Arizona College recognized the Community Health Worker (CHW) inaugural class during a certificate ceremony at the Superstition Mountain Campus on August 12, 2017.

The ceremony opened with a welcome from interim Academic Dean, Jeff Bunkelmann, PhD followed by the history of how the CHW Program was developed from Coordinator/Instructional Specialist, Kim Bentley, M.Ed., NDTR, CHES. Each of the graduates spoke about their experiences as the pilot cohort of students. The celebration was capped off by a robust keynote address from Bob England, MD, MPH, Director, Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Graduates of the Community Health Worker Inaugural Class of 2017 are:
• Tina Brown
• David Castellanos
• Veronica Elam
• Nora Lozano
• Nancy Vasquez

Community Health Workers are a front line public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has a close understanding of the community they serve. This relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison between health services and the community. A CHW builds health understanding and self-reliance in individuals within the community through a range of activities such as: community outreach and education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.

CAC developed the CHW Certificate Program by forming the Community and Public Health (CPH) Advisory Board in 2015. This collaborative partnership includes Public Health leaders across Arizona. CAC appreciates the support from CPH Advisory Board Members: Yanitza Soto (Arizona Department of Health Services), Martha McNair (Greater Valley Area Health Education Center), and Dr. Bob England, Mark Gallegos, Dr. Raju Thiagarajan and Maria Ballon from Maricopa County Department of Public Health.