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Supporting Your Needs in Community Healthcare (SYNCH): A Community Health Worker Training Program

AUTHOR: Ann G. Miller


PHONE: 814-777-7213

AGENCY: Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit

Supporting Your Needs in Community Healthcare (SYNCH): A Community Health Worker Training Program

Supporting Your Needs in Community Healthcare (SYNCH) is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration community health worker training program designed to address health inequity across central and northeast Pennsylvania. SYNCH offers assistance to those who are interested in becoming a community health worker and to those currently working in this type of position.

Community health workers (CHW) play a vital role in connecting people to community services and resources to improve health outcomes. They are trained frontline public health professionals who are trusted members of the communities they serve. This relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison to improve access to health and social services. They build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.

Samantha, a SYNCH participant, learned about the program from her employer, Strawberry Fields, Inc. She was interested in advancing her career by becoming a certified CHW. With the help of her SYNCH Career Coach, Samatha registered for and attended the CHW short-term training. She has completed training and is completing requirements for certification. When asked what the benefits are to become a certified CHW, Samantha said, “Becoming a certified CHW enhanced my skills in providing healthcare services to underserved communities. The CHW training equipped me with practical skills, cultural competency, and networking opportunities with like-minded individuals wanting to better their community. Incorporating what I have learned as a CHW has helped me provide better support to those I care for on a daily basis at Strawberry Fields Inc., a company that serves those with an array of intellectual and physical disabilities.”

To participate in the SYNCH program, individuals must be 18 years of age, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, be a resident of Pennsylvania and eligible to work in the United States. Individuals, employers and community based organizations interested in learning more about CHWs should visit or call 814-777-7213. SYNCH is administered by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit.

This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.


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