Ebola Educational Materials for Health Workers

If there’s one enormous lesson US-based health organizations can take from the Ebola crisis, it’s to be prepared. Yet in my experience working with health departments across the United States, this preparedness rarely trickles down to health workers who are in the field.

If you haven’t yet begun training your healthcare staff in what to do with Ebola in your community, start now. Here are a few dependable resources you can begin with by circulating to your team:

Ebola: What Business Travellers Need To Know


Excellent introductory video from International SOS on risks and statistics about EVD. Aimed at business travelers, but helpful information for anyone wondering more about the disease.

Watch the video >>

What Is Contact Tracing?


Helpful infographic from the CDC on what contact tracing is and how the process works. Especially useful for understanding how CHWs fit into the process.

Download the PDF >>

Standard Operating Procedures for Contact Tracing and Follow up during Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak


A succinct 11-page document that outlines the procedures for contact tracing and gives worksheets for keeping notes.

Download the PDF >>

Ebola Guides and Factsheets from CDC


A comprehensive website that contains constantly updated information on new guidelines and instructions on dealing with EVD, from signs and symptoms to treatment.

View the website >>

Register for What Every AHEC Needs To Know About Online Training

CHWTraining.org (a project of Talance) is hosting a free webinar event on October 7 for any AHEC administrator hungry for information about how to expand education and enrollment through e-learning. Directors, program administrators and trainers from AHECs are invited to attend.

Introduction to E-learning: What Every AHEC Needs To Know About Online Training is complimentary and will begin at 1pm Eastern (10am Pacific), during which you’ll learn:

  • How to get the whole team on board
  • What the technology requirements are
  • Why your learners are probably asking for online module delivery
  • And much more!

Space is limited for this event, so you don’t want to miss your chance to get in on the action. Please register now!


Date: Oct. 7, 2014

Time: 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern

Duration: 60 minutes

Register for the webinar >>

AHEC of Southeastern Massachusetts: An E-learning Case Study

Summer is over, and it’s time to start planning new training programs for your learners.

If you’ve wondered how you might transition to an online learning strategy, here’s a case study to give you some confidence and inform you of best practices. The short case study How AHEC Of Southeastern Massachusetts Successfully Shifted To Online Training (PDF; 633 KB) shows how AHEC of Southeastern Massachusetts launched two new courses online and kicked off a new e-learning method of serving learners.

Download the Case Study

Washington helps hundreds of community health workers begin new careers

Washington’s Office of Healthy Communities offers an innovative online training program for a new breed of workers that could help define the future of healthcare.

WOBURN, MA–The Office of Healthy Communities already works with community members by funding programs that improve health, such as cancer screenings and help with substance abuse. Now the Washington Department of Health agency is offering an ambitious program to train hundreds of health workers to work closely with populations that need extra help–and save hospitals money along the way.

Its Community Health Worker Training program (http://www.doh.wa.gov/chwts) gives new or experienced community health workers the skills they need to go into neighborhoods and help people receive better healthcare. The program trains approximately 500 people a year with a flexible training program that combines traditional on-site sessions with a progressive online learning management system.

The hybrid learning format, built with e-learning development firm Talance, Inc. (http://talance.com/elearning), is key to the program’s success, because it allows workers from every corner of the state–no matter how rural–to participate in the training.

Prior to the program, only some community health workers had received training from their employers. Training, which covers such topics as documentation skills and breast cancer screening, was inconsistent, with varying levels and not tailored to the state’s populations of community health workers. Remote areas, which are where community health workers are most often needed, offer few training options, and commuting into a major city for an in-person course is difficult for full-time workers to manage.

“E-learning allows us to reach remote areas of the state to teach community health workers. Staff only need to stay one day in each location thus lowering the cost of delivering the training significantly,” says Debbie Spink, instructor in the Office of Healthy Communities. “We need the support of the online curriculum. It would be cost prohibitive to offer this training only in-person.”

Organizations across the world send community health workers on house calls, especially in poor areas where residents might not have access to doctors or where they visit the emergency room for minor problems. Program graduates help clients follow the doctor’s orders and take charge of their health, reducing the need for additional care.

It’s an easy win for hospitals and health centers, which have invested in creating new positions for community health workers. More skilled community members knocking on doors means fewer people crowding emergency rooms.

The federal government also sees the value of community health workers. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has pumped funds into the development of community health workers, because there’s potential to save money through this large workforce.

The Office of Healthy Communities’ program is popular with providers and community agencies around the state. More than 100 of them send employees for training, including AmeriCorps, SeaMar, Aging and Long Term Care, and Planned Parenthood.

Community health workers can participate in one of seven regional core skills courses and take one of eight health-specific programs. A program that began as presentation-based staff training, delivered ad hoc at employer sites, has evolved into a consistent statewide program that educates hundreds of people through audio, video, and discussion boards.

VIDEO: Watch and listen (MP4) (mms://dohmedia.doh.wa.gov/cfh/communityhealthvideo4.wmv) to what people are saying about their Community Health Worker training experience.

About Talance, Inc.
Talance, Inc., is a Boston-area e-learning company founded in 2000. It has offered courses and programs for some of the nation’s biggest health and human services organizations and has helped adult learners reach their career advancement and personal enrichment goals.

To learn more, please visit: www.talance.com.
Follow Talance on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Contact Talance

Free Download: How Washington’s Office of Healthy Communities Uses E-learning to Train up to 500 Employees a Year

Download Talance’s free case study to learn how this state department created a successful program to train community health workers.

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Help for Navigating Health Insurance

WOBURN, Mass., May 20, 2013 – Making a smart decision about health insurance is a hair-pulling experience even for medical industry insiders. The most informed people can find sorting through terminology and types of plans confounding, never mind understanding new programs and requirements stemming from health care reform. That process can be nearly impossible for underprivileged communities whose native language might not be English.

Thanks to a new online course aimed at community health workers and patient navigators—the people whose job is to increase health knowledge and support to marginalized communities—that process is much clearer.

Navigating Health Insurance is a facilitated online course that covers the principles behind insurance, the types of insurance available and how costs are structured. Participants learn why health insurance matters in the U.S., including health care reform, the importance of preventative care and the problem of rising healthcare costs. By the end of the 2-week course, participants will be armed to help patients compare plans, set up appointments and interact with insurance company representatives.

The course will begin on July 15 and finish July 28.

More than half of the people in the United States believe that they have not received adequate information to understand the way in which they will be impacted by the changes in the health care system, according to a study from Kaiser Family Foundation. A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll says “Six Months Before Open Enrollment Begins, Many Americans Remain Unaware Of, Or Confused About, The ACA.”


“Despite the fact that health care reform and insurance coverage is in the papers every day, it’s still a terribly confusing issue,” says Monique Cuvelier, president of Talance, Inc., the e-learning company offering Navigating Health Insurance. “We aim to make it easier for people to understand insurance.”

Course instructor Marilyn Gardner is a registered nurse and works with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as a Public Health Nurse Adviser and Clinical Liaison. She is a Master Trainer for the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and has taught community health workers and patient navigators across the country and internationally.

For more information or to register for the course, please visit http://chwtraining.org/insurance.

About Talance, Inc: Talance, Inc., is a Boston-area e-learning company founded in 2000. It has offered courses and programs for some of the nation’s biggest health and human services organizations and has helped adult learners reach their career advancement and personal enrichment goals. Learn more at www.chwtraining.org.

Free E-Learning Consultation

Contact us to learn more about our training options and professional development resources. Call (888) 810-9109.

A Vibrant and Engaging Government Website – Really!

How Talance built a website that’s sophisticated, friendly and worth exploring for the Patient Navigator Program in Boston, MA.

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Government websites have a bad reputation. Sadly, it’s a reputation that’s justified. Just click through a few official templates and you’ll see far too many are stodgy, rife with outdated information and a decade behind design trends.

When the team behind the Patient Navigator Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health decided to embark on a website, they knew they wanted to break stereotype.

Marilyn Gardner, lead of the Women’s Health Network /Men’s Health Partnership at the Care Coordination Program, which commissioned the website from Talance, said she wanted something different. “Something you’d want to spend time playing around with and investigating.”

So we set about creating a website that was “clean, sophisticated and fresh”—in other words, something completely different from the run-of-the-mill government website.

Read the whole case study, including each major phase of the project from building identity to building the site on Drupal, over at our website.

Our $150 Public Display of Affection

We at Talance have no problem with public displays of affection, which is why we’re laying it out there this month with our annual Customer Appreciation Month.


How’s it work?

Work with us on any new or existing development or design this month and mention the Customer Appreciation Month discount. We’ll automatically give you $150 off through August 2012.

Take it as a token of our love that it’s so darn easy.

With love,


Announcing Community Health Worker Online Training Website

Health workers know we live in a world without enough parks. They know every neighborhood battles some residents’ misconceptions about medical treatments, or try to help those who smoke or drink too much.

This, along with shifts in healthcare reform, are why so many communities across the country have established community health worker programs. Sometimes called patient navigators, promotors or outreach workers, these people serve as a bridge between under-served populations in need of care and the health care, government and social service systems. Read Mass.gov’s definition of a community health worker.

Recognizing the need to train more individuals to be community health workers, Talance is proud to announce the launch of the Community Health Worker Online Training website.

The Community Health Worker (CHW) Online Training is designed to bring the benefits of an in-depth professional development program to healthcare systems and health departments without the cost associated with lengthy in-person training.

The initiative was formed through the collaboration of two key entities: the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and e-learning technology firm Talance. Mass DPH developed an open-source online curriculum targeted to patient navigators/community health workers with participation from Central Massachusetts AHEC, which Talance helped to host on ATutor, a leading open-source learning platform. We share a passion for bringing meaningful, cost-effective learning experiences to organizations in the healthcare sector.

The initiative includes custom developments for some of America’s leading health services organizations, including Washington State Department of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, among others.

The website serves as an overview of this program and allows visitors to sign up for a demo of the e-learning program and also an upcoming webinar on how to pilot a community health worker program, led by co-author Marilyn Gardner, from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

See the website.

Talance Earns SDO Certification as Woman-Owned Business

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Talance Earns SDO Certification as Woman-Owned Business

I’m very pleased to announce that our firm Talance, which specializes in developing e-learning systems and websites for its clients, has received certification as a Woman-Owned Business by the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO), an agency within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts helping promote the development of business enterprises and non-profit organizations owned and operated by minorities or women.

Certification is granted after submitting to a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

What does this mean? First off, it means we’re in an elite group. It’s not easy to receive this certification, and it’s also not easy to be a woman-owned business in the technology world. According to a recent survey from Harvey Nash, just 9% of U.S. chief of information officers are female. So really, we’re proud to be among this tiny sliver.

It also means we have a better way to connect with forward-thinking organizations that value diversity and achievement. You can feel good about tipping the scales toward the ladies. And you can

But that’s not all! Massachusetts has a program called the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP), which gives a little financial bump to state-based organizations that contract with women-owned businesses. That means that every dollar our clients spend on work with Talance goes further, because they’ll receive credit from the state.

It’s not often you can feel good about helping a disadvantaged business AND get a sweetener from the state. We hope you’ll be as excited as we are about our new certification.

[Image: stock.xchng user – a_glitch]