Community Health Worker Expansion Program

Community Health Workers

Community health workers build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. With roots in the communities they serve, community health workers play a valuable role in connecting underserved populations to the health and social services they need.

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.”

-Lewis Carol

About the Community Health Worker Expansion Program

In August 2022, West Central Alabama AHEC received funding to expand its current Community Health Worker (CHW) program that was initiated under the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program- (Implementation II), where community health workers were recruited, trained and deployed in service area healthcare facilities to help bridge the gap between healthcare providers and community members while increasing SUD/OUD referrals.

The expansion of this program includes the recruitment, training, and deployment of four additional community health workers covering four of RCORP’s six southwest Alabama counties. These CHWs will serve as important advocates for underserved and vulnerable individuals, help to increase outcomes for at-risk individuals and their families by offering screening and referral services outside of traditional healthcare facilities, and link together resources for the betterment of the rural areas of Clarke, Choctaw, Marengo, and Sumter counties. CHWs will assist in creating informal safety nets between non-clinical and clinical outcomes as they will address social determinants of health to assist in reducing health disparities for vulnerable individuals across the project’s four county service area.

Program Funding

Funding for this community health worker expansion program was made possible as part of the $8 million that U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell secured in the Fiscal Year 2022 government funding package for community projects in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

This community health worker expansion program is a good use of taxpayer funds as the program is community based and relies heavily on community-based partnerships from stakeholders across the area, including healthcare providers, social service providers, mental health providers, elected officials, court systems, faith-based organizations, professionals serving K-12 children, community members and others across rural west Alabama. This program tailors infrastructure to specific community needs in order to address social determinants of health that make individuals vulnerable to substance use disorders and other chronic conditions that affect quality of life.

Community Partners

Our community partners house community health workers in their service area locations, coordinate community resources and help connect us with community members. Examples of non-clinical partners may include, but are not limited to, school systems, jails, drug courts, universities, community-use facilities, and faith-based organizations.

Avail Management Services

Program Management

Health and Wellness Education Center

Community Partner and Community Coordinator

Theo Ratliff Activity Center

Community Partner

V & C Outreach Resource Center

Community Partner

Harvest Ministries

Community Partner

Butler Chapel A.M.E Zion

Community Partner

Community Events

April 1, 2023 10:00am-2:00pm

Location: Choctaw County For details, contact Yolunda Johnson or Johnnie Sanders

April 15, 2023 - Sumter County

For more information, call (205) 652-3828 or email

In Our Communities

Sumter County

March 2023 -

Strengthening Families Program where RCORP II provided medication lock boxes for program participants. Organization attendees and speakers included West Central Alabama AHEC, The Health & Wellness Education Center, Officer William Shelton, Chief Josette White, and Sumter County Community Health Workers.

For more information about the program , please contact Eleanor James:

Community Health Workers assisting participants.

Officer Shelton spoke about the dangers of opioids and how Narcan administration can help save lives.

Marengo County

March 2023 - Demopolis Police Department Spring Fling

Thanks for stopping by our table Marengo County Commissioner Armstead.

Thanks for stopping by our table Dr. Steiner, OBGYN.

Additional Community Opportunities

These opportunities are not sponsored by S.A.O.R, so please contact the event organizer with questions.

Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program

The Senior FMNP is administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Farmers Market Authority Section to provide Senior FMNP Benefits to low-income seniors that are 60 years of age or older that can be used to purchase eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) from farmers that grow them and are selling them directly to you at local farmers markets and roadside stands.

If you are interested in applying for the SFMNP benefits, you can complete and submit an application on our web site by clicking below. If approved, you will receive your benefits cards by mail to be used at Farmers Market Authority (FMA) approved markets and roadside stands. The Senior FMNP Benefits must be expended by November 15 of the calendar year you receive them.

Career Pathway Program

Host: Coastal Alabama Community College

Fentanyl Facts and Overdose Risk: A FREE DEA Educational Foundation Course

Fentanyl Facts and Increased Overdose Risk. This course was developed by the Addiction Policy Forum in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Educational Foundation and JCOIN to share facts about fentanyl in the U.S., increasing overdose risk, and resources for communities. The course takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Source: Addiction Policy Forum & Correctional Leaders Association. (2022). A DEA Educational Foundation Course: Fentanyl Facts and Overdose Risk. Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network Coordination and Translation Center.

Advocating for Change Through Education (A.C.E.)

Join R.O.S.S. Peer Educators for an immersive learning experience as they provide a curriculum to create a community of support for individuals’ recovery efforts and reduce the overdose death rate in Alabama.

The Center for Community Health Alignment - Opioid Misuse Prevention Training

Register for the next Opioid Misuse Prevention training to learn about the effects of opioids, harm reduction strategies, treatment options for substance use disorder, and how CHWs can contribute to stigma reduction and decrease opioid overdoses.


Community Resource Guide

School Counselor Resource Guide

Naloxone Training Link


Connect Alabama App

Community Service Programs of West Alabama

(Choctaw and Sumter)

Community Action Agency of South Alabama

(Clarke and Marengo)

(Food, Energy Assistance, Case Management, Housing, Education, Elderly Assistance, etc.)

Alabama Department of Human Resources

(Food Assistance, Work and Job Training Services, Childcare, etc.)

Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission/Area Agency on Aging

(Elderly Assistance: Medicare Counseling, Farmers Market Vouchers, Legal Services, Home and Community Based Services, Prescription Assistance, Legal Services, Senior Centers, etc.)

Alabama County Extension Offices

(Resources for Disaster, Finance/Career, Health, Home, Nutrition, Parenting/Family, Workforce Development)

Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs

United Way of West Alabama/211

United Way of Southwest Alabama

(Choctaw and Clarke County)

Contact Us

If you are located within the four county service area and interested in being a community partner, please contact us


© 2020 Southwest Alabama Opioid Response Project

The Southwest Alabama Opioid Response Project is an initiative of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, supported through HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. and aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD) in the rural Alabama communities of Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Henry, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Sumter and Wilcox Counties.

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