Institute Graduates First Class of “Training for Change” Participants

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Institute Graduates First Class of “Training for Change” Participants

May 31, 2022

The Institute for Family Health was delighted to graduate our first cohort of five Community Health Change Agents, generously supported by the Fund for Health Equity, a program sponsored by Direct Relief.

Training for Change is a five-month workforce development project designed to recruit, train and employ community members whose lived experiences represent those of the Institute’s patient population. Participants were recruited from a number of community-based organizations, and those selected did not have the education or experience typically required for social support positions like care navigators or patient outreach representatives. The group participated in three months of paid training and two months of on-the-job learning supported by senior Institute staff.

“This project gave us the opportunity to partner with people who are from the communities we serve, which not only allows us to provider better care to all of our patients, but also increases the trust between our staff and the community and is a step towards creating a more robust workforce development program at the Institute for Family Health,” said Michaela Frazier, the Institute’s Vice President for Social Support Services.

All five participants completed the program and are now employed in full time jobs at the Institute. Yudelicis Martinez Ventura is a Health Home Care Navigator; Fanny Ruiz is a Cancer Care Navigator; and Angelina Ambrosino is a Chronic Care Navigator. Livin Bukuru and Luis Fernandez are both Patient Outreach Representatives. Their supervisors appreciate that their thorough training has allowed each new staff member to dive into their positions, with less of a learning curve than is typical of new staff.

The participants agree that the program has changed their lives – permitting them to enter a profession that they previously experienced only as a patient. “The training I received allowed me to gain knowledge and step into a new position feeling confident in my skills I have learned and I am excited to continue learning within the Institute,” said Angelina Ambrosino, one of the Training for Change alumnae. “The Training for Change program provided the most in-depth knowledge in an area I was completely unfamiliar with and now I can proudly say I am well prepared for the next step.”

The Institute is thrilled to have the new staff on board, and is planning to continue the program in the fall.