Community Health Workers (CHWS) as innovators: Insights from a tele-education pilot for CHWS in Detroit, Michigan
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Community health workers (CHWs) have a longstanding role in improving the health and well-being of underserved populations in resource-limited settings. CHWs are trusted in the communities they serve and are often able to see through solutions on community challenges that outside persons cannot. Notwithstanding, such solutions often must be low-cost, easily implementable, and permit knowledge gaps among CHWs to be filled via appropriate training. In this sense, use of cost-effective information technology (IT) solutions can be key to increasing access to knowledge for these community agents. This paper highlights insights gleaned from a pilot study performed in Detroit, Michigan with a group of CHWs in basic grant-writing training via an e-platform, the Community Health Innovator Program (CHIP). The results are discussed within the context of learning theory. It is concluded that e-platforms are necessary for CHWs to leverage knowledge from multiple sources in an adaptive environment towards addressing ever-evolving global health challenges.
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