Major barriers to receiving adequate cancer treatment among the underserved are "navigating" the health care system, integrating information, and identifying the resources needed to obtain and receive adequate treatment. Community health workers are able to connect cancer patients and their families connect with information and local resources.
The Community Health Worker Project Team created a one-day course to provide community health workers with basic knowledge about cancer and how to find resources for prevention, screening, treatment, survivorship and self-care strategies. This pilot course, titled "Combating Cancer in your Community", was first offered at the April 2006 Cancer Summit and again in Fall 2006. As a result, nearly 100 individuals were trained on the basics of cancer. The team is currently working to expand upon the training’s content, including adding a prostate cancer section and expanding the cervical cancer section.
Offered as an 11-credit program, the Community Health Worker certificate can be earned at select colleges throughout the state, including Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Summit Academy (Minneapolis), Inver Grove Heights Community College, South Central Technical College (Mankato) and Rochester Community and Technical College.