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CHW Spotlight: Sarah Johnson Malchow

a lady with wild curly brown hair with red glasses and a big smile, the back ground is in fall season with brown leaves and stripe white and black shirt and sweater.

Sarah Johnson Malchow worked in communications for nearly 35 years, first as a newspaper journalist and then in business management. Throughout that period, she met numerous people who needed help. In addition, she became very aware of the systems in her community that support people and health, and she always found it a joy to connect the two. Medicine is part of her family background, and that’s something Sarah has always enjoyed being a part of. When she began seeking a new career, the opportunity to apply for The Alliance scholarship offering was the right direction to go. “I am so grateful to The Alliance for the scholarship award and its trust in me to perform well.” Now in her second semester of the CHW Certificate Program at Normandale Community College, Sarah is completing her internship with MNCHWA Associate Executive Director Angela Fields. She has been enjoying utilizing aspects of her communication skills to boost the Alliance’s work. “The Alliance is the most refreshing part of becoming a CHW. I have never seen a more supportive professional association! I feel like I have finally met my people.” Sarah added that the certification learning program has been excellent with the professors at Normandale, and the school is supportive as well. She appreciates that the teaching staff are also boots-on-the-ground community health workers who know how to apply their teaching to work. Their experience and outlook are so valuable. “I really like what I’m learning, and I have also been working hard at updating my own practices, too, as I learn more about optimum health.” Looking forward to working in the field, using her communication and supportive skills is at the top of her list, along with one of Sarah’s main passions: food, access to it, and food security. Another lane she will explore is working to help senior citizens stay in their homes as long as possible. As a resident of rural Minnesota, it’s been interesting imagining how to navigate and access the sometimes challenging landscape of services in her area that are sometimes far apart and tough to access.

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