A community health worker with the InTOuCH program conducts a blood pressure check on another woman.

Community Health Workers

Through the InTOuCH training program, members of the community are trained to be community health workers versed in stroke and cardiovascular disease. Community health workers are trusted members in the community who serve as liaisons between health and social services and the immediate community they are a part of. In their role, they are able to advocate for community members, identify resources, and help improve their health outcomes.

Our community health workers:

  • Educate the community on risk factors associated with stroke and heart disease
  • Provide health counseling and referrals to community resources
  • Conduct blood pressure screenings
  • Organize health screenings at local events 

Once trained, some are hired to assist with research studies that address other health issues in their communities.

Program Curriculum

InTOuCH offers an extensive curriculum covering a range of health topics:

The program guides lay and professional volunteers to become proficient in blood pressure measurement techniques and learn effective communication skills for counseling about stroke and cardiovascular disease health, among other skills.

The FREE training, in which all topics are taught by Columbia faculty and staff, lasts eight weeks:

  • 6 weeks of classroom coursework
  • 2 weeks of hands-on practicum in measuring blood pressure and body mass index (BMI), A1C testing, and cholesterol testing

At the end of the training, all participants receive a certificate as certified Community Health Workers  along with the opportunity to continue receiving additional training as alumni and other research projects at the Center.

InTOuCH Alumni

  • We are in our 17th cohort of the training program
  • We have trained over 200 community members as health workers