Kent State University's College of Public Health Awarded $265,000 HealthPath Foundation Grant

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death among Ohioans, but the impact of these diseases may be reduced if community health interventions are available. COVID-19 has contributed to additional challenges in access and implementation of community health interventions. The need for community health worker (CHW) professionals is projected to grow by 15 percent over the next 10 years, presenting an opportunity for Mahoning and Trumbull counties to greatly improve their residents’ access to healthcare. 

The $265,043 grant from the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio will extend the impact of CHWs to the Mahoning Valley and help attract and retain CHW students through scholarships. For three years, 10 students will be awarded scholarships to complete a six credit hour program at Kent State University at Trumbull. These scholarships will encourage students to get hands-on experience in their field while sparking their interest in the healthcare field. The CHW credential will allow them to enter the workforce and help their communities immediately. 

"The landscape of healthcare has rapidly changed over the past two years,” says Sonia Alemagno, Ph.D., dean, Kent State College of Public Health. “There is a real need for more community based health outreach, and this grant will allow Kent State to help fill that gap.”

Kent State Trumbull will partner with the Trumbull and Mahoning County public health districts, and Mercy Health to provide students a paid internship funded through the grant.

The College of Public Health’s goal is to establish a permanent CHW training program to ensure that the Mahoning Valley continually is serviced by a minimum of 30 CHWs. That group of CHWs will provide neighborhood-based community health and outreach services by training a cohort of 10 new CHWs each year. Students will also gain assistance in obtaining permanent employment in a Mahoning Valley health agency, so upon graduation, they will be ready to begin their career. 

For more information on the College of Public Health’s CHW training program, contact Tracy Schlemmer at 330-672-6512.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 2:55pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 9:44am