Educational Training Geared Toward Building Your Capacity

Our ultimate goal at Southwestern AHEC, Inc. is to make our health care system more inclusive and accessible. One of the ways to achieve this is by providing educational training for the underrepresented minority and disadvantaged individuals in the health workforce. By integrating trained members of the community into our health care system, we believe that we can deliver a more focused service.

To learn more information about these training's please contact Fernando Morales, Executive Director at or call at 203-372-5503, Ext. 19

CHW Core Competency Training

As one of the most prominent voices promoting CHWs and their work, Southwestern AHEC wants to build the capacity of the CHW workforce by offering CHW Core Competency Trainings.

Southwestern AHEC’s Core Competency Training consist of 90 hours of popular education instruction that includes the 10 roles and skills of CHWs adopted by Core Consesu Project (C3)

This overall training of 90 hours will help you as a CHW to gain recognition as a leader in your community, learn to appreciate how your diverse skills and experience can further your career goals and, most importantly, position yourself and be ready to become a certified CHW in CT.

You will learn:

Role and Evolution of the CHW field in the US

You will learn how CHWs help individuals, families and communities enhance their health. You will also learn about the History on CHWs in the US, the value of working together to establish culturally tailored and community specific services to promote health.

To define Public Health, Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

You will learn to define health and public health; look at causes of illness, health of populations, and fully understand what social determinants of health and health disparities are. You will also learn to define health equity, examine  data that documents health inequities among populations, and see how they are harmful to society and how CHWs play an important role is overcoming health disparities.

To develop and build capacity on the core competencies and build the framework for client-centered delivery of services

Southwestern AHEC works with the latest “Foundations for Community Health Workers” 2nd edition textbook 2016. In addition, we utilize the 10 roles and skills from the National C3 Consensus Project building national consensus on CHW Core roles, skills and qualities. You can learn more about it by clicking here!

To develop your understanding of Oral Health and its relation to overall health

This will give you the opportunity to understand the relevance of Oral Health and how CHWs can address related issues with their clients and communities.

Learn about and increase your capacity to address Opioid and Substance Use Disorders

This training is specifically designed for CHWs on how to address Opioid use and Substance use disorders in the communities they serve.

We follow adult learning principles and incorporate hands on activities into the training sessions to give you a more in-depth experience. We meet you where you are and move you to the next level. 

Essentials of Motivational Interviewing

What will you learn:

Over the course of this 2-day workshop you will become familiar with the basic theory of MI, practice ways to foster an effective working alliance at the very first meeting, and develop skills to successfully engage difficult cases.

You will also become skilled at recognizing, eliciting, and reinforcing key client verbalizations that will set the stage for an effective plan for changing self-defeating behaviors.

Through a series of structured learning activities that include role-plays, ‘real’-plays, video demonstrations, and small group exercises, you will be progressively guided to improve your skills from basic to more advanced levels. Most importantly, you will be able to transfer and incorporate newly learned MI skills into your real-world interactions.

 What are the Goals?

  • Develop a basic level of proficiency so that you can begin to use Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Recognize the essential features of the MI communication style and how it differs from other approaches
  • Become skilled at engaging reluctant clients and forming a powerful and productive alliance at the very first meeting
  • Respond to challenging and provocative client statements in a way that reduces defensiveness and moves interactions forward
  • Understand the reasons why what your clients say, during clinical inter- actions
  • Reinforce and recognize client verbalizations that signal internal energy for change

About the Presenter:

Raymond Chip Tafrate, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and professor in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Central Connecticut State University. He co-chairs the Forensic special interest group for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, is a Fellow and Supervisor at the Al- bert Ellis Institute, a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, and frequently consults with criminal justice agencies and programs.

Oral Health Training for Community Health Workers (CHWs)

The Oral Health training offers CHWs opportunities to learn and gain awareness about oral health issues. In addition, we provided activities for prevention and make resources available so that they can share with their clients.

What will you learn:

The knowledge and skills CHWs acquire through this training can be used in different health care settings to improve access to oral health services and quality of delivery. Our goal is to improve the oral health of people in all regions of Connecticut.

What are the goals:

Describe the relationship between oral health and overall health

Describe the prevalence and impact of oral disease

Recognize barriers to maintaining oral health

Identify ways to integrate oral health into your work as a CHW

Promote CHW ownership and commitment to oral health

Project Support Treatment Education and Prevention (STEP)

This training serves to educate community health workers on introductory knowledge about substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD), as well as increase the capacity for CHWs to be able to provide resources for patient access and engagement for treatment. The program focuses on three core areas:

Recruitment and Training

Build the capacity of CHWs to address the issues SUD and OUD, including: bridging cultural differences between clients and systems, empowering persons by creating and using support materials, and educating community members about SUD and OUD.

Consumer advocacy:

Since CHWs are embedded in their communities, we have identified key CHWs to serve as advocates when addressing SUD and OUD concerns in their communities. We follow their progress and their efforts in the field to determine if their efforts are having an impact in addressing education in their communities.


This training is designed to have CHWs demonstrate increased knowledge of SUD and OUD with relation to a person’s overall health. CHWs are key to providing their clients and communities with the tools to make informed decisions about treatment by being supportive in a person’s path through support and education. These approaches are ideal when working with communities and educating them on health disparities in support of health equity, SUD and OUD, and “holistic” approaches to better health.