Utah State University Moab students Kolby Williams and Gail Wakefield pose with other members of the first Community Healthcare Workers certificate cohort at the school. [Courtesy photo]

Students at Utah State University Moab can now earn a community healthcare worker certificate, which comes with certification from the Utah Department of Health Environment, Policy & Improved Clinic Care program.

“The certification program was created to address a growing need for community health workers in the rural parts of the state of Utah,” a press release about the new program stated. The program intends to fill mental and primary health care gaps in rural and geographically distanced areas like Moab.

The Community Health Worker Core Skills Certification trains students on innovative prevention strategies outside of the clinical setting, presenting information on interventions that can reach whole populations – not only those with access to the traditional healthcare system.

“Rural communities have a lot of public health barriers and are affected by many disparities issues,” program facilitator Maria Velasco Burgos said. “This program is a great way to help the Moab community to address its challenging health problems. Students are part of different local organizations and are being able to be work with specific populations already.”

The first group of students has already completed the 9- to 12-week program, USU Moab officials reported in a press release.

Students interested in the program should reach out to Maria Velasco Burgos (maria.velascoburgos@usu.edu) in order to receive an application. Those selected for the cohort are accepted to USU Moab and will receive the training free of charge. Those not selected will be eligible to be selected in future cohorts. Applications for the next cohort are currently being accepted.