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Aetna Better Health trains Community Health Workers

July 16, 2021 | Health Insurance

A woman wearing a pink sweater takes notes in a notebook while chatting with a mother and her two young children.

Aetna Better Health of Texas members join one of the first U.S. Community Health Worker training programs offered by a Medicaid health plan

For Aetna Better Health® of Texas Medicaid members, who’ve enjoyed their health plan experience and want to pay it forward, comes the opportunity to build a new career as a certified Community Health Worker.

This fall, a new class of Medicaid members will begin the inaugural Aetna Better Health of Texas Community Health Worker training program cohort. This is among the first Community Health Worker training programs in the country offered by a Medicaid health plan.

“We are thrilled to support our Texas communities while providing our Medicaid members with the ability to gain new skills, learn more about their own health and wellness, and achieve their educational goals,” said Stephanie Rogers, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Texas.

What is the role of a Community Health Worker

Community Health Workers are trusted members of the community who can become an asset to any health care, social service or community-based organization. They are not medical professionals, but they serve as a bridge, working to connect members to culturally sensitive care and resources.

“A Community Health Worker or in Spanish a ‘promotor(a)’ brings a unique understanding of their patients’ language, culture and lived experiences,” explained Mercedes Cruz-Duque, certified Community Health Worker Instructor. “The work they do provides health education and assists people in gaining access to community programs.”

Trying to make a difference

Aetna Better Health of Texas cover tuition fees for the program. Community Development team member Mercedes Cruz-Duque will provide the training in collaboration with the American Heart Association, which is providing program materials, equipment and oversight. Once the students complete 160 hours of instruction (24 weeks), they will receive a completion certificate during the health plan’s Community Health Worker graduation ceremony.

To learn about the occupational outlook for Community Health Workers, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.