April 17, 2023

Warriors in the Community, Episode 1: The Community Health Worker Academy

Warriors in the Community - WWJ 950 Newsradio

Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters.

In this inaugural episode, College of Education assistant dean Nate McCaughtry discusses the Wayne State University Community Health Worker Academy, which recruits, certifies, trains, supervises and provides professional development to Community Health Workers from diverse and integrated public health and medical care teams. In doing so, the program seeks to enhance the effectiveness and cost-efficiencies in optimizing population health and advancing health equity.


Intro:  This is “Warriors in the Community” brought to you by Wayne State University, and now to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our community, here is Darrell Dawsey.

Darrell Dawsey: Hello, I'm Darrell Dawsey. Today, I'm with Nate McCaughtry, assistant dean in the Division of Kinesiology Health and Sports Studies at the Wayne State University College of Education. He's the director of the Center for Health and Community, and also the director for the Community Health Worker Academy. Can you just give us an overview of how the academy works?

Nate McCaughtry: So, it really started about two years ago when we started doing a lot of research with faculty in the law school, medical school, nursing college, trying to grow the community health worker workforce. What we learned pre-pandemic is that the healthcare workforce was deficient and the pandemic really taught us that. And so, what everyone realized is we need more community health workers because not enough exist out there. And because we're an educational agency, we really had all the skills to build a dynamic unit here on campus that could help both serve the campus as well as the surrounding community.

Darrell Dawsey: Can you tell us how many new community health workers the Community Health Worker Academy has helped create?

Nate McCaughtry: We committed to certifying and providing professional development and apprenticeships for 150 new community health workers over a three-year span. However, we're well beyond those metrics because as of today, we've already graduated 40.

Darrell Dawsey: I'm wondering about impact. Do you see the Health Worker Academy making a real difference?

Nate McCaughtry: All 40 individuals who we've worked with to get certified and trained are out employed and in integrated healthcare teams in all types of agencies. So, there are boots on the ground working out in the community.

Darrell Dawsey: I want to say thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to come out and join us today.

Nate McCaughtry: Great. Thanks for having me.

Extro: This has been warriors in the community. For more Wayne State News, please visit us online at today.wayne.edu/wwj and join us here next Monday at the same time for more warriors in the community.

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