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How Peer Support Helps CHWs Succeed

The Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance (MNCHWA) has a number of peer-to-peer support activities to assist Community Health Workers (CHWs) succeed in their employment.

As a CHW certificate student, I have accessed a number of opportunities to learn with my peers through the MNCHWA. My primary experience was with the Student Support Check-in where I first met the MNCHWA staff who explain their roles and how The Alliance supports students and peer CHWs. I was deeply impacted by these individuals’ obvious personal commitment to CHWs and their work as well as how The Alliance clearly wants to support its members and CHWs overall. Having had over 30 years of experience in journalism and communications, I was astounded by this type of professional support because I’ve never seen anything like it in my career or schooling. It is truly unique and very welcome. It was immediately clear the workforce, the work itself and I am valued by this organization.

The monthly Student Support Check-in is available for us to ask questions about how our studies are proceeding, to seek assistance with any questions or problems, to get assistance with resume building and to alert students of employment opportunities. I have already accessed welcome assistance with converting my resume to one that’s much more CHW friendly than my old document. I addition I have met a couple of other students who are not my peers at my school.

Since then, I have gone on to also participate in the CHW Learning Circle virtual meetings. These really open up chances to meet CHWs working in the field. Moreover, the Learning Circles offer more real life learning about what is happening right now and how CHWs are impacted.

Overall, these interactions have helped me become a peer to the CHW workforce and helped me feel connected. For me this has been vital because: I live in a rural part of the state, attend school online, didn’t know any CHWs prior to my schooling and most people I know don’t know what a CHW is or does. I am now confident that I will be able to find work as a CHW in my community because of these connections and the opportunities created by the work of the MNCHWA.

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