Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC exists to enhance access to quality healthcare, particularly primary and preventative care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professional through community/academic educational partnerships. Our partnerships have created programs and committees to support Montana communities and the state's healthcare workforce. 

About Our CHW Training
Training Schedule & Costs

What is a Community Health Worker?

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.”

Why train Community Health Workers?

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. 


online education

CHW Add-On Modules

Visit our online learning library of free trainings.


chw association website

MT CHW Association

Learn about how you can get involved with Montana's CHW Association.


pathways of a messenger

Pathway of a Messenger

Explore our training built specifically for CHWs in indigenous communities.


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Spanish CHW Fundamentals

Our CHW Fundamentals course is now available in Spanish! 


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Annual CHW Summit

Learn about our annual Montana CHW Summit.

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CHW Apprenticeship Option

Find out more about apprenticeships.



Natalee Wheeler
Project and Training Coordinator
(406) 994-6858

Schedule a meeting with me!


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