New partnership a first for Alabama

by Mackenzie Foster

Troy University has made history by being the first in the state to have a registered Community Health Worker apprenticeship program. 

The new partnership between Troy University and the Wellness Coalition is planning to train and place community health workers across Alabama to make up for the lack of medical care. 

“The apprenticeship will be where the community health workers and the future community health workers actually have their on the job learning experience and that’s where the rubber meets the road,” said John Garner, the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. 

Tawanna Robinson, a Project Manager for the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship, says the new apprenticeship program will not only change students’ lives, but the lives of people who need to be treated in underserved areas in Alabama. 

“By providing opportunities for apprentices to earn while they learn, we’re also meeting needs where individuals will be able to get the health care needs met,” Robinson said. 

The program is not only solely for physical health care needs, but mental health care needs as well. 

While this program is new, Garner says this partnership will give them insight that will be useful to the program in the future. 

“As we do this, we have certain areas we’re focusing on, we’ll learn from that, and then we can take the lessons that we learned and apply to different regions throughout the state,” Garner said.  

The community health partnership is being funded by a $3 million grant announced last October by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Program leaders says that students involved in the apprenticeship program will receive funding to help them complete the program. 

“I think this is really going to be a great opportunity for other students and myself since it’s something that can really prepare us for the real world and help others out there who really need it,” said Jordan Wells, a sophomore in the College of Health and Human Services from Dothan, Alabama. 

Students that would like to know more information about the new program can visit 

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