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Purpose of CDC-CCR Initiative 

Launched in August 2021, CDC’s Community Health Workers for COVID Response and Resilient Communities (CCR) initiative provides financial support and technical assistance to 69 states, localities, territories, tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and health service providers to tribes.

Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of the community they serve. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a link between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve service delivery.

Public health crises, such as COVID-19, worsen existing health disparities. CHWs are well-positioned to reach communities hit hardest by COVID-19, stop the spread of COVID-19, and move toward health equity. 


In collaboration with the Allegheny County Health Department and 18 community partners, this 3-year CDC-CCR grant-funded initiative focuses on expanding and enhancing the public health workforce and directly addressing COVID-19 and related health disparities in Allegheny County by centralizing, supporting, and enhancing existing CHW programs among local community-based organizations (CBOs) and clinical providers.

By creating a unified approach to COVID-19 training and CHW documentation and facilitation under the guidance of a community-driven coalition, we aim to ensure that CHWs have access to continuing education opportunities, are able to address community-surfaced needs, and are able to adapt quickly to changing COVID-19 conditions and respond with direct services and community education. This alignment will also create a central infrastructure of CHWs, CBOs, and clinical care services that is at the ready to address community health needs beyond COVID-19 through a trusted, culturally competent public health workforce.


The COVID Response & Resilient Communities (CCR) initiative builds upon the foundational knowledge and skills acquired through the AHEC 100-hour CHW training curriculum by deepening CHWs understanding of COVID-19 while taking a trauma-informed, compassionate approach to talking with and educating community members about the coronavirus and focusing on stress reduction and healthy coping strategies for CHWs as they do this vital work. 

The CCR Initiative incorporates two "arms" as part of training and awareness raising: the CORE curriculum and monthly modular "lunch and learn" sessions. 

Upcoming CORE Curriculum Sessions

COVID-19 CORE Curriculum for CHWs

The COVID CORE curriculum will include 11 hours of training and will cover the below topics over the course of 7 sessions. Each session takes 1.5 hours to complete. 

Because information in the following sessions relies upon an understanding of coronavirus disease identification and prevention, all participants will need to complete the Covid Basics sessions before being able to register for other sessions ( required indicated by * ). 

  1. COVID-19 Basics: Disease Identification & Prevention*

  2. Trauma-Informed Care & COVID-19

  3. COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy & Confidence

  4. Addressing COVID-19 & Vaccine    Misinformation

  5. COVID-19 Testing & Quarantine Procedures

  6. Treatment for COVID-19

  7. COVID-19 & Special Settings (long-term care, schools, childcare, group homes)

covid core
Covid-19 & SDOH 'Lunch & Learn' Sessions

Upcoming Lunch & Learn Sessions


  • Available Online

    The pandemic is over but Long-COVID persists!

    Starts Jul 24

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  • Available Online

    Presented by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

    Starts Jun 5

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  • Spend a few hours relaxing!

    Starts Jun 4

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  • Spend a few hours relaxing!


  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Expression

    Starts Jun 26

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  • Spend a few hours relaxing!

    Starts Jul 2

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  • Join your colleagues for an afternoon of fun and friendship!

    Starts Jul 11

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Lunch & Learn sessions at one hour long and focus on helping CHWs adapt to the consistently changing realities of COVID-19 - how you serve clients, emerging variants and community outbreaks, and how to best protect yourself and those around you. Topics include:
  • Status of local cases

  • Understanding Disinformation

  • Social Determinants of Health

  • Emerging variants and breakthroughs

  • Longer terms impact of COVID infection - impact on mental health and well-being

  • Health-related screenings for conditions that increase the risk for COVID-19 such as

    • BP readings for hypertension 

    • urine glucose dip for diabetes

  • Signups for PENNIE

  • Culturally specific health needs

  • Trauma-informed care

  • CHW Self-care

  • Experts/guest lecturers

covid modular

The Pennsylvania Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) are an accredited Community Health Worker training organization through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. AHEC regions offer a 100-hour training program designed to provide the core competencies needed for work in community-based and inpatient settings.  To learn more about the 100-hour CHW training, visit the Education & Training page.

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