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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Community health representative: The first tribally contracted program, since 1968 - American indian paraprofessional healthcare providers

Job Details

Training Component

The training component of the CHR Program is to provide an environment that will promote the individual CHR’s educational growth and proficiency in providing health care, health promotion, and disease prevention services. In the future the goal is to modify the CHR training curriculum to so that CHRs will obtain licensure/certification. The requirements vary by community training information is available at the IHS healthcare facilities.

The components of training are as follows:

  1. Basic Training - To provide the nationally accredited health training to all I H S-CHR funded employees after their completion of the probationary period and designated prerequisites.
    1. Each employee, occupying a position supported by IHS-CHR finds, is required to successfully complete the CHR Basic Training Course within 1 year of employment.
    2. Each CHR will be given the opportunity to take a challenge test in place of the CHR Basic Training.
  2. Specialty Training - To provide current information to increase proficiency in health care, health promotion and disease prevention services through special accredited courses.
  3. Advanced Training - To provide academic and practical experience that may lead toward an Associate 01 Arts degree, licensure and certification, through colleges, universities and vocational technical schools.
  4. “Refresher” CHR Course - The “refresher” CHR Course is required to be taken by CHR’s between 36 and 48 months after completing the p Basic CHR Training Course.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. Director National IHS/CHR Program Office - To be responsible for the overall management of the CHR Program, Office of Health Programs.
    2. Area CHR Coordinators - Assess, update, and evaluate the training needs of CHR’s in their respective areas and provide this information for use in policy formulation. Implement policies and procedures pertaining to CHR training. Ensure that each CHR receives and satisfactorily completes the 3-week Basic CHR Training Course. Coordinate training and educational activities with other disciplines associated with the Area CHR Program(s). Conduct and/or coordinate training for CHR’s.
    3. Curriculum Review Committee - Utilize subject matter experts as required for review and analysis of CHR curricula.
    4. Contractors/Grantees - Ensure that CHR’s are provided training commensurate with their duties under the awarded instrument.

The following CHR qualifications are guidelines headquarters strongly advises tribal programs follow:

  • Fingerprints for a background check and to check any past criminal history especially for applicants dealing with the children, elderly or disabled
  • A drug test prior to being hired as well as randomly scheduled drug screenings,
  • Physical ability to carry out needed tasks
  • Healthcare provider CPR certification
  • First aid training
  • Possession of a valid drivers license
  • and a minimum age of 18 years (Determined by Tribal Personnel Regulations).

The tribe will also adhere to the Indian Preference Law. Please note there may be additional requirements.

Training sessions are currently three weeks long, but may be adjusted to a shorter period with distance learning technology and web based instruction.

Every CHR must attend and successfully complete the Basic Training Course, prior to training the applicant must submit a record of healthcare provider CPR certification, and first aid. The three-week course is designed to provide the CHRs with the educational tools necessary to competently accomplish their jobs. I H S still sponsors training for tribes in the IHS system and those tribes who have opted for Title I (AFA) shares. Compacted/Self Governance (Title III) tribes may participate in I H S sponsored training programs such as Basic and Refresher Training if: (1) class space is available, and (2) they pay the costs of training.

CHRs whose tribes (Title I and III) leave funds with the IHS for such purposes may apply for and attend Basic CHR course. Admission is based on equitable treatment to all eligible tribes.

Because of the variety of health-related tasks a CHR does, it is necessary that CHRs maintain a high level of proficiency and knowledge on the health subjects that apply to their tribal needs and specific job function.

CHRs need to know all they can about health problems that affect their tribes. In some tribes, a CHR may be designated as a specialist, there CHRs need additional knowledge and training. Whatever the tribal needs and the educational background of the CHR, most CHRs will improve as they attend health related conferences and workshops.

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