Prospective students interested in community health can take advantage of two new short-term certificate programs launching this fall at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College. The certificates can be earned in one or two semesters, with class schedules designed for participants already balancing work and family obligations.
The new Community Health Worker/Health Navigator 1 Certificate of Competence requires 15 credits, and will allow participants to finish in less than a year. New distance learning options will be also be available for Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Hāna, and Lāhainā.
Community health workers (CHWs) in Maui County hold job titles that include outreach specialist, wellness navigator, program assistant, and health aide. They serve as bridges between the community and healthcare and social services providers, helping to ensure services are accessible and culturally appropriate. CHWs often provide care coordination and supportive counseling. “This work is about trust and compassion,” said Haunani Kamakana, a navigator at Molokaʻi General Hospital. They also focus on prevention, leading outreach and education efforts and supporting individuals, families, and communities in making healthy changes. Dr. Joe Humphry, Medical Director of the Lānaʻi Community Health Center, notes that “CHWs connect people to the resources they need to stay healthy, detect problems early on and improve management of chronic conditions. They are essential members of our health care team.”
The CHW certificate was developed with input from local healthcare, public health, and social service employers, as well as national and state efforts like Hawaiʻi’s Healthcare Innovation Plan, and workforce studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Project partners include Lānaʻi Community Health Center and Na Puʻuwai. Leadership and key staff from Lānaʻi Community Health Center, Na Puʻuwai, Hui No Ke Ola Pono, Mālama I Ke Ola, […]