There is a critical need for appropriate research best practices training for community health workers (CHWs) in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Without it, rigorous implementation of community-engaged research is challenged and the opportunity to effectively partner with CHWs is missed.
To address this gap, we propose to establish, in conjunction with CHWs, promotoras, researchers, and other stakeholders, a novel, robust, and replicable competency-based training in research best practices for CHWs. The training capitalizes on an academic and community “Champion” mentorship model to train CHWs within their own communities. This project was informed and is supported by several stakeholder groups. It builds on our extensive expertise developing the first-of-its-kind, competency-based training for clinical research professionals in Social and Behavioral Research Best Practices. That course was developed from a nationwide collaboration with support from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Our long-term goal is to train CHWs using a competency-based, culturally and linguistically sensitive training program that includes easily-accessible online training resources for use by research teams and CHWs in the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium and beyond. The objective is to develop, demonstrate, and disseminate research best practices training for CHWs. This proposed project and CTSA hubs (University of Michigan, University of Florida, and University of California-Davis) brings together national leaders (Drs. Murphy, Cottler, and Aguilar-Gaxiola) in competency-based clinical research training, low literacy, and community-engaged research in English- and Spanish-speaking communities. Our team includes national leaders, clinical research professionals, CHWs (some of whom are peer-leaders of the training called Champions), and community members who, together, will develop a culturally and linguistically sensitive training program.
The expected outcome is a substantive advance in team science that helps build a culture of research at community sites serving diverse and underrepresented populations, with the ultimate goal of improving community health. Our approach to creating culturally and linguistically sensitive training can be used as a model in other underserved communities, such as with African Americans and Arab Americans, among others.