BY DR. JUNE ROBINSON and CONSTANCE BROWN, RN
ORLANDO – The Central Florida Black Nurses Association of Orlando, Inc. (CFBNA) is proud to announce the graduation of our third Community Health Workers (CHW) class.
Sponsored through the RISE Grant, CFBNA was awarded a grant through the Coalition of 100 Black Women (Lawanna Gelzer-President). Initially, the grant was designed as a COVID-19 grant to evaluate why people were hesitant about being tested or obtaining a vaccination.
Through this grant we were tasked to teach those interested in helping others in the underserved population to identify and care for chronic diseases, and locate resources in the community to help address their health needs. CFBNA applied to the state of Florida for provider status to teach the CHW course. We became the first non-profit organization to be awarded this status. All CFBNA members who taught the class received an orientation before teaching this course
The Community Health Workers course involves taking a 30 hour class that consists of 7 sessions or modules; perfect attendance; competing 500 hours of volunteer hours working in the community or with their current employer; and taking the state exam. All classes were taught by CFBNA nurses who were specially trained to teach the CHW course.
Our first class was held during August, 2022 at Christ the King Episcopal Church under the direction of Pastor Dr. Jose Rodriguez. This group from the church demonstrated great interest in the class.
Our second class was held of Mt. Sinai Seventh Day Adventist Church under the direction of Pastor Dr. Derrick Moffett, and was completed in December, 2022.
Our third class was held at Hearts of Mercy Ministries under the direction of Pastor William Andrews, and was completed in April, 2023.
All graduates now have the knowledge, skills and ability to teach and assist their family, friends and community to deal with chronic diseases and the necessary resources required.
We have trained 70 individuals and we are working with those who have missed some classes to make up whatever classes they missed. Their volunteer hours can be accomplished with any community agency or organization offering services to the community. They can also volunteer with CFBNA as we offer community services almost weekly.
CFBNA has also made connection with the Florida Community Health Workers Coalition (FCHWC) whose Regional contact is Enid Santiago, Enid.santiago@FLHeath.gov. The mission of the FCHWC is to promote Community Health Workers through statewide partnerships dedicated to serving underrepresented and underserved groups impacted by health disparities through collaboration, training, advocacy, and leadership.
If you are interested in taking this class to become a Community Health Worker, be on the lookout for our next offering. Hopefully we will start a new class this fall of 2023, dates and location TBA.
The role of a CHW may be your first step into the health care work force. You may find a job working with other health care providers (nurses, doctors, technicians). This knowledge may also propel you into becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN); and if you choose, CFBNA will mentor you through this process.
For any student nurse, RN, or LPN interested in becoming a member or learning more about the Central Florida Black Nurses Association of Orlando, Inc. please visit our website at www.cfbnaoforlando.org, or email us at – firstname.lastname@example.org