Welcome to CHEC!
Community Health Workers (CHW's) play a key role in ensuring the health and well-being of Boston’s multicultural residents. The Community Health Education Center (CHEC) is a training and professional development center that strives to enhance the capacity of CHWs to provide outreach and health education in the diverse communities of Boston.
Established in 1993 by the Boston Public Health Commission, CHEC has provided standardized training for CHWs and cultivated a network of more than 1,600 CHWs who work in various communities throughout Massachusetts. CHEC's core competency and supervisory trainings are recognized nationally and across Massachusetts as setting the standard for CHW professional development.
In 1997, with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, CHEC established a center in Lowell to serve the Northeast region of the state (from the Merrimack Valley to the North Shore), which now operates under the Lowell Community Health Center.
CHEC’s programs will:
- Present methods to conduct outreach and health education at community sites with various cultural groups
- Expand your health knowledge to provide information and referrals on a range of health topics more effectively
- Connect you with other front-line health workers across the city
Our programs are jointly designed by community health workers and experts in various health fields. CHEC's advisory group, comprised of community health workers, fine-tunes all programs to ensure they meet your needs.
CHEC is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is a cost for all CHEC trainings. Please call for more details.
Learn more about CHEC's fee description and Policies
Meet the CHEC Staff:
Peggy Hogarty, Director
Nikki Simpson, Program Manager
Luisa Tavares, Network Coordinator
Tia Washington, Operations Coordinator
To establish and anchor community outreach and health education work as a valued practice within public health by providing education and training programs and professional development opportunities and by supporting the creation and advancement of national and statewide standards.
CHEC’s programs are guided by these core principles:
- Validate the strategic role of community health workers - CHWs constitute a segment of the healthcare labor force that play a strategic role in building healthier communities and eliminating health disparities. As members of the communities they serve, CHWs possess a first-hand understanding of the complexity and scope of the issues that impede health equity.
- Build on CHW's knowledge and skills - CHEC draws on the diverse experiences of CHWs to increase their knowledge of health topics, strengthen their job-related skills, and promote culturally-appropriate methods of service delivery to families and individuals especially vulnerable and under-served populations.
- Use methodology appropriate for adult learners – This adult learner approach gives CHWs much more than classroom theories and prepares them for the real-world situations, clients, and experiences they will encounter doing outreach in their communities. This approach also reinforces that CHWs, as active visible role models, are leaders both in guiding community members toward positive, healthier lives and in continuing to improve their own level of skill and capacity for learning.
- Engage CHWs in all aspects of our program – CHEC incorporates CHWs in the planning, implementation, and assessment phases of its training programs, professional development, and networking activities. As community members, their input not only ensures that the program meets their needs and their community’s needs, but values and validates the cultural and ethnic experiences and contributions of participants.
Promote cohesiveness among CHWs as a community-based public health network- In addition to the shared experience of participating in CHEC’s education and training activities, CHEC’s networking luncheons nurture the CHW’s development of an identity as a valuable member of a cohesive professional group with common aspirations and challenges.
NETWORKING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Stay Connected - CHEC hosts a monthly gathering of CHWs to share outreach strategies, network with other CHW's, and learn about services and resources for your clients. A place where you can be reenergized and get mutual support to continue the important and demanding work of reaching out to people in our communities. Plus, build your network and professional contacts.
CHEC works to support and promote the professional growth and advancement of CHWs by providing additional opportunities and tools.
CHEC's resource library is a place to find effective, easy-to-read, multicultural, multilingual health education materials to use with your clients. Borrow DVDs, videos, posters, or educational models to use with your clients either one-on-one or in groups. Get the latest health information on a range of topics. The library is open to CHWs who want to use it and apply for a library card. In addition, the library has a list of great websites with up-to-date health information.
We are conveniently located at 35 Northampton Street, 5th floor (across from the Boston Medical Center campus).
Always give yourself plenty of time to get to CHEC, particularly if it’s your first time. See Directions.