COMMUNITY HEALTH AIDE PROGRAM - CHAP
The Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) is a sustainable, successful and culturally acceptable health care delivery system in Alaska Native villages. With focused training and support, Community Health Aides (CHA) deliver quality care in rural environments. KANA currently employs Community Health Aides to serve in the communities of Akhiok, Larson Bay, Port Lions, Old Harbor and Ouzinkie.
The CHAP profession is unique to Alaska. It is one of the most important health care Providers roles in rural communities. Community Health Aides work under the supervision of referral physician, communicating frequently by telemedicine, telephone, email or radio.
What is a Community Health Aide?
Community Health Aides are local people who are trained to become a health care provider in their community. Not only are they seeing patients during normal clinic hours, but must also provide on-call service after hours. They receive training at one of the few training centers in Alaska to work within the guidelines of the Alaska Community Health Aide/Practitioner Manual (CHAM). Being a Community Health Aide/practitioner is a demanding position with the health care of the community being their responsibility twenty four hours a day. It's important that they are supported by everyone including their family, their community members, village leadership and corporate leadership.
Community Health Aides use the Alaska Community Health Aide/Practitioner Manual to guide them through obtaining a medical history, performing a physical examination, making an assessment and planning care. The manual is now in electronic format, and Community Health Aides can access it digitally. CHAs see a variety of patients including elders, pregnant women, infants and children, accident victims, and mental health and chronic disease patients. CHAs also coordinate the appointments of other visiting health care professionals who regularly visit the village to provide health care, including public health nurses, dentists and doctors.
Becoming a Community Health Aide:
- You must be employed by Indian Health Services a Tribe or Tribal Health organization, such as KANA, that operates a Community Health Aide Program.
- Review application materials and a specialized training matrix on CHAP Certification Board website.
- Work with a supervisor to determine which matrix is most appropriate for you to help develop a training plan.
- Complete certification requirements and application for certification and submit to CHAP Certification Board.
Training centers are located in Anchorage, Bethel, Nome and Fairbanks. CHAs take part in four sessions of training, each lasting three to four weeks. Between sessions, the CHAs work in their clinics, completing a skills list and practicum. Completion of the four-session training curriculum and successful completion of a clinical skills preceptorship and examination qualify the CHA as a Community Health Practitioner (CHP). CHA/Ps at any level of training may obtain certification by the Community Health Aide Program Certification Board.