Community Health Education Resource Person
A Community Health Education Resource Person (CHERP) is a trained community member who is passionate about helping the community by providing information, support and basic health education and resources to those who need help. The CHERP training is the foundation to the Community Health Worker (CHW) program of the WVSOM CRCH. A CHERP-trained CHW:
- may be a volunteer or paid CHW specifically trained to help friends, neighbors, and community members develop a healthier lifestyle.
- is trained to answer basic questions about health, disease, nutrition, physical activity, and health behaviors.
- may partner with doctors, nurses, dietitians, personal trainers, and others in promoting health.
A CHERP can train at one or more levels:
- Health Promotion
- Disease Prevention & Management
Anyone 18 years of age or older with at least a high school diploma, general equivalency degree or higher education can train as a CHERP. No experience or specific background is necessary to participate in the training. For participation in the online training, knowledge of basic computer skills is recommended.
CHERP training is provided through the CRCH. CHERP Level 1: Wellness and CHERP Level 2 Health Promotion are available online. In some cases, trainings may be implemented in-person.
We have performed research on the effectiveness of the CHERP training. Our CHERP-related research seeks to discover to what extent CHERP-trained CHWs are useful and functional in their communities. See our research publication about the CHERP training – “Evaluation of a community health worker training program in rural Appalachia, USA” – in the International Journal of Medicine.
How to Become a CHERP-trained CHW
What is a community health worker (CHW)? Are you interested in becoming a CHERP-trained CHW in your community? Trainings may be held at various locations throughout West Virginia and CHERP Level 1: Wellness is also available online. The training is open to all individuals 18 years of age and older, with no prior health care experience necessary. You must have at least a high school diploma, general equivalency degree (GED) or higher education to train as a CHERP. For participation in the online training, knowledge of basic computer skills is recommended.
WVSOM's Community Health Education Resource Person (CHERP) CHW training curriculum addresses nationally identified skills and competencies recommended that will prepare participants to impact their community. Participants will need to progress through each of the three consecutive levels offered online and successfully pass the exam for each level. Currently, Level 1 - Wellness and Level 2 - Health Promotion are live with Level III under development. Upon successful completion of the training, each participant will receive a unique registry number and can opt to purchase a certificate of completion.
Find a CHERP-trained CHW
Need a CHW? Identify and review CHERP-trained CHW profiles with the skills and competencies to best serve your needs. CHW profiles and locations are available throughout West Virginia. Please click the link below to find a CHERP-trained CHW near you.