CHW Training


The American Public Health Association (APHA) defines a CHW as “a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. The CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.”


The roles of Community Health Workers are tailored to the communities that they serve. Generally, CHWs promote access to services, provide health education, support care delivery, and promote advocacy. Since CHWs are typically community members, they have strong community connections and greater opportunities to build relationships and extend the reach of healthcare services. Research consistently demonstrates that CHWs increase care outcomes and quality of care in rural populations. The training and retention of CHWs is essential for improving healthcare for rural Montanans.


The Montana Community Health Worker (CHW) Fundamentals training provides the knowledge and skills necessary to become a Community Health Worker. The instructor-guided curriculum takes approximately seven weeks (85 hours) to complete and consists of four 15-hourLearning Modules and a 25-hour on-the-job Supervised Experience taken at the completion of the four Modules. Each Module contains written content, videos, application activities, case studies and reflective journaling. An individual will gain skills in the following areas: professional skills & conduct; communication; self-care; interpersonal relationships; outreach, navigation & coordination; organization; advocacy; capacity building & teaching. The CHW training is facilitated by an instructor and provides a certificate upon completion. *A trainee must be sponsored by an employer prior to beginning the training, as the 25-hour Supervised Experience is required to complete the course.

How Can I Register?

Participants register with their regional AHEC training provider. To register, click on the regional links below.


AHEC Regions 


Western Montana AHEC - MHA Academy

South Central Montana AHEC - MHA Academy

North Central Montana AHEC - MHA Academy

Eastern Montana AHEC - RiverStone Health

North Eastern Montana AHEC - Montana Health Network

Employer Information

An employer must formally sponsor a trainee prior to the start of the training. It is vital that the employer has the resources necessary for the trainee to meet the Supervised Experience required activities. The CHW “Manual for Supervised Experience” is available for sponsoring Facilities/Agencies, Instructors, and Preceptors. Scholarships to cover the cost of the training are available through the BHWET grant funded by HRSA. The host facility will pay the participant’s training cost upfront and then would be reimbursed upon the participant’s completion of the training.

Important Links

Training Schedules

Frequently Asked Questions 

Community Health Worker Training Brochure 



CHW Apprenticeships which include on-the-job training with a mentor, incremental wage increases, and are the only way to receive Nationally Recognized Credentials for these occupations. Visit or call 406-444-4100 or email


Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC (MORH) received grant funding through the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to make these and other training programs broadly available to increase the number of paraprofessionals trained in community and behavioral health across our state.



For more information on the CHW training program, please contact:

Beth Ann Carter, Project Coordinator