Case Study: Success with Blended Learning

The Office of Healthy Communities at the Washington Department of Health’s high aspirations: train 500 health workers per year.

In the fall of 2012, the Office of Healthy Communities at the Washington Department of Health began an enormous task. The aim was to build a program that would be able to train 500 community health workers (CHWs) around the state. Participants would be able to apply new skills while they were working and without major disruption to their jobs. Two years on, the program has become a resounding success.

Washington stands out from other CHW training programs in both its capacity to train workers and also in its catalog of courses, which features a cornerstone core skills program and also several skill-building courses in disease prevention and screening. The blended learning program is comprised of both in-person sessions and online lessons. Together, the program saves money and appeals to the state’s wide population of health workers.

“This online learning solution from Talance was a logical choice for addressing some of our challenges,” says Debbie Spink, an instructor for the program. “E-learning assures all students receive consistent up-to-date quality information and skill building. Students love the freedom it gives them to participate when their schedule permits.”

CHWs are public health workers who provide education to people at risk for poor health, healthcare and disease. They often work in the communities they serve and have a deep relationships with clients, as opposed to a primary care physician.

Community health workers are also busy, and can be located in remote areas, which makes it difficult to attend lengthy in-person trainings. The ability to take remote courses hosted by and built with Talance has been one major factor in the success of the program.

Free Download: Washington State Department of Health Case Study

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