Morehouse School of Medicine Launches Annual High School Community Health Worker Training Program

  • With UnitedHealth Group's support, program to train next generation of community health workers, improve health of local families
Linda Britton

Dr. Linda Britton, UnitedHealthcare Clinical Services Northeast/Southeast Region medical director, addresses students and parents at Morehouse School of Medicine's High School Community Health Worker Training Program orientation.

ATLANTA — 

Morehouse School of Medicine, in partnership with UnitedHealth Group, launched its third annual High School Community Health Worker (HSCHW) Training Program, which seeks to increase the number of trained student community health workers to engage family, peers and community members in strategies for better health.

The HSCHW Training Program begins with a five-week summer program where students learn from health professionals about community health – particularly in their own neighborhoods. Throughout the year, students provide health monitoring and health literacy activities to family and neighbors, and assist certified HSCHWs with designing and implementing school-based and community-based health initiatives. The program helps students explore career opportunities in the community health field, promotes health education, and encourages students to implement some of these programs at home and in their neighborhoods to ultimately foster healthier communities.

"While keeping us connected with the communities we serve, the High School Community Health Worker Training Program is a great way to cultivate the next generation of health professionals," said Dr. Arletha W. Livingston, director of the Innovation Learning Laboratory for Population Health at Morehouse School of Medicine. "We are grateful for UnitedHealth Group's partnership. Together we are able to enhance the health of our community and provide support to some of the most vulnerable individuals and families here in Atlanta."

"Research indicates that including community health workers in treatment teams leads to better long-term health outcomes and lower costs, creating healthier communities," said Junior Harewood, executive director, UnitedHealthcare of Georgia. "We look forward to seeing the impact these high-school students will have on people's health in the communities we are privileged to serve."

This year's kick-off event was held Saturday, June 23, and welcomed the third cohort of 30 10th-12th grade students from metro Atlanta-area high schools. UnitedHealth Group volunteers led team-building activities for students and their families, and instructed the students on basic health intake forms for parents and community members.

Since 2013, UnitedHealth Group and its foundation have partnered with MSM to address primary health care needs and improve health outcomes for underserved communities in Atlanta's East Point area. This partnership has enhanced the institution's patient-centered medical home to help doctors and community health workers deliver improved health care to the community.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.

About Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. In 2011, MSM was recognized by Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation's No. 1 medical school in fulfilling a social mission. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care.

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Morehouse School of Medicine Launches Annual High School Community Health Worker Training Program