HS-MACA/CPHHE Train Community Health Ambassadors on COVID-19

CHA COVID PhotoCreighton University’s Health Science – Multicultural and Community Affairs (HS-MACA) Department and its affiliate, the Center for Promoting Health and Health Equity (CPHHE) have significantly advanced Creighton’s mission of partnering with and serving our neighboring community through education, programming development and resource sharing.  A prime example is CPHHE’s training and certification over 60 Community Health Ambassadors (CHAs), most lay individuals in North and South Omaha.

CHA’s play crucial roles in community engagement services, health education, motivation and empowerment of Omaha underserved communities.  The CHA program, established through

(1) our previous CDC-funded CPHHE-REACH project (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health), and

(2) the CPHHE and HS-MACA community health advocates program initiated through seed money from CHI Health and the Omaha Housing Authority,

has continued empowering African American, Native American and Hispanic communities in Omaha. These community health ambassadors/advocates (CHA’s) are lay community members to provide information, resources, and connections to health services in the communities in which they live and work.  Currently, CHA training is in partnership with the Creighton Office of Excellence.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crucial reason for HS-MACA and CPHHE to remotely expand CHA training and education through online mechanisms. Recent UAA reports show that African Americans are disproportionately infected by and die from the Coronavirus. Nebraska is no exception. Closely comparable is the devastating effect on the Hispanic population.

We have started remote CHA train-the-trainer education on Coronavirus prevention and transmission. The plan is to empower CHAs to provide training and education through telephone calls, social media, etc., to minority communities that they serve in North and South Omaha. The train-the-trainer activities are biweekly basis to allow translation of updated information from the CDC and local health department into lay terms. We also advise about local resources for testing and referrals for COVID-19.

These trainings are also opportunities for Creighton University personnel in HS-MACA and CPHHE to reconnect with the CHAs and the community. Through this mechanism they can boost morale and information among our local community partners that we have impacted over two decades. During the training via video conferencing HS-MACA and CPHHE have the opportunity to learn from the CHA’s about what their respective communities want to know and what services their communities need to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

These COVID-19 trainings are spearheaded by the following:

  • Dr. Sade Kosoko-Lasaki – Assoc VP HS-MACA and CPHHE Co-Director
  • Dr. John R. Stone – CPHHE Co-Director, Professor, Creighton University, Dept. of Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate Program in Bioethics
  • Mrs. Doris Lassiter – CPHHE Immediate Past Chair, Community Partner, Director for the Nebraska Center for Healthy Families
  • Dr. Kate Nolt – CPHHE Associate Academic Partner, Assistant Professor and, MPH Practicum Program Coordinator, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Mr. Errik Ejike, CPHHE Community Liaison and Program Supervisor
  • Mr. Mervin Vasser, HS-MACA Assistant Director

For more information regarding the Center for Promoting Health and Health Equity, please visit this website: https://www.creighton.edu/health/cphhe/us/