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CHW Training Programs in South Dakota

The following CHW Training Programs are offered in South Dakota. For organizations seeking reimbursement for CHW services, it is important to confirm that a training program is approved by the payer source prior to an individual beginning a training program. Additional training programs are available, but may not always align with reimbursement for CHW services, depending on the payer source.

Click here to learn more about CHW Titles in South Dakota.

Click here to view the pre-recorded webinar – Understanding SD CHW Training Programs & Scope of Work.


Full CHW Training Programs

Lake Area Technical College

Community Healthcare Worker Training Program

Lake Area Technical College is now offering an exciting new Community Healthcare Worker Program. After completing the program, graduates will be equipped with the necessary skills to be employed in medical positions such as a Community Health Worker, community health adviser, social and human services assistant/specialist, community health advocate, eldercare advocate, addictions counselor assistant, and casework specialist. Community Healthcare Workers are often responsible for the health of community members who may not be cared for by traditional medical institutions including culturally diverse populations and underserved community members. Community Healthcare Workers often provide some basic direct services as well, such as first aid and some health screenings.
Watertown, South Dakota and Online (Certificate)

Indian Health Service

Community Health Representative Training Program

The Community Health Representative (CHR) Program is a unique concept for providing healthcare, health promotion, and disease prevention services. CHRs have demonstrated how they assist and connect with the community, and their work has become essential to the spectrum of tribal community-oriented primary healthcare services. CHRs are great advocates, in part, because they come from the communities they serve and have tribal cultural competence. Their dedicated work has assisted many to in meeting their healthcare needs. The health promotion and disease prevention efforts that CHRs provide have also helped people from the community improve and maintain their health. By providing health education and reducing hospital readmissions, CHRs have contributed to lowering mortality rates.
Training is web-based and accessible through employment as a CHR
  • Basic Training (web-based)
  • Advanced Training (web-based)
  • Specialized Training (onsite)

Click here for more information about CHR training options.

Click here to contact Indian Health Service regarding the CHR Program.

Specified Training Programs

Family Spirit®

Home Visiting Program

Family Spirit® is an evidence-based, culturally tailored home-visiting program of the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health to promote optimal health and wellbeing for parents and their children. Family Spirit combines the use of paraprofessionals from the community as home visitors and a culturally focused, strengths-based curriculum as a core strategy to support young families. Parents gain knowledge and skills to promote healthy development and positive lifestyles for themselves and their children.
Family Spirit Programs are offered by afffiliate partners. For more information about becoming an affiliate, click here.
Trainging is offered by affiliate programs. Click here to learn more about becoming an affiliate.
Click here to contact the Family Spirit Program.

National Diabetes Prevention Program

Lifestyle Coach Training

The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is a partnership of public and private organizations working to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Partners make it easier for people at risk for type 2 diabetes to participate in evidence-based lifestyle change programs to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs must have Lifestyle Coaches who are trained to use a CDC-approved curriculum and who have the knowledge and skills to effectively deliver the program. The Lifestyle Coach’s ability to support participants, provide guidance, and help groups work together effectively is essential for a successful lifestyle change program.
Information about the National Diabetes Prevention Program can be found here.
Both online and in-person training options are available. See next tab for more information about training options.
Click here to find Lifestyle Coach Training Programs.
For more information about the National Diabetes Prevention Program in South Dakota, contact:

Kayla Magee


Better Choices, Better Health® SD

Lay Leader Training

Chronic disease affects quality of life, has a huge economic impact, and increases the need for healthcare services. Better Choices, Better Health® SD is a community-led evidence-based program modeled after Stanford University’s chronic disease self-management program and is supported by the South Dakota Department of Health, SDSU Extension Services, and the South Dakota Department of Human Services. Once certified as a leader for BCBH, anyone with a desire to help people better manage their chronic conditions and lead healthier lives can lead a workshop. No healthcare or teaching experience is required. In fact, many leaders have a chronic disease themselves and have attended BCBH SD Workshops as a participant.
Click here for an available list of in-person BCBH trainings in South Dakota.
Click here for an available list of in-person BCBH trainings in South Dakota.
Click here to contact Better Choices, Better Health SD coordinators.

Additional Training Programs

Many additional training programs are available regionally and nationally for CHWs. Organizations may choose a specialized training program for a CHW to train in a specific area, or may choose a training program that is nationally recognized or offered. For organizations seeking reimbursement for CHW services, it is important to consult with the payer of the services to confirm if the training program is eligible for reimbursement.

Training Programs Eligible for Medicaid Reimbursement

While many training programs are available regionally and nationally for Community Health Workers (CHWs), the five (5) CHW training programs listed above are approved by the South Dakota Department of Social Services (SD DSS) for reimbursement for CHW services. To learn more about reimbursement of CHW services in South Dakota, click here.

The Community Health Worker (CHW) Agency Addendum to the South Dakota Medicaid Provider Agreement provides a complete summary of details required for an organization to become a Medicaid agency and (based on training completed by CHWs) receive reimbursement for CHW services.

Training Program Examples

The following are examples of CHWs providing services as they relate to different CHW training programs available in South Dakota. These are not actual program scenarios but instead examples created to assist in further describing the CHW position and  CHW Training Programs in South Dakota.


Marsha is a Community Health Worker at a small medical clinic in Redfield, SD. As a CHW, she primarily works with patients to help them navigate the regional healthcare systems and coordinate transportation to medical appointments. She also attends appointments with patients and encourages health education to prevent future complications for patients with diabetes and heart disease. Marsha completed the CHW Certificate Program through Lake Area Technical College (LATC) and is currently working to obtain her CHW Associates Degree to expand her professional knowledge.


Deidra works as a Community Health Worker with a health system in Rapid City as a part-time Lay Leader facilitating the Better Choices Better Health (BCBH) workshops. She provides health education to attendees that teach them skills to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. A new position is available at her health system for a Clinical CHW. Deidra applied for the position, but a requirement for the position is completion of a full CHW Training Program in South Dakota. Deidra is considering completing the CHW Certificate Training through Lake Area Technical College.


John works as a Community Health Representative (CHR) with a tribe in South Dakota. He was hired as a CHR to work with a grant-funded asthma prevention and control program. When he was first hired, John completed the Indian Health Service Community Health Representative Training Program. He primarily provides health promotion and coaching to patients to help them to quit using tobacco products and conducts home studies to identify possible asthma triggers, such as mold and secondhand smoke. John also provides transportation for patients to an asthma clinic in Sioux Falls, SD.


Cynthia is a receptionist at an urgent care in a rural community in Central South Dakota. Patients who are seen at the urgent care for broken bones are referred to a larger hospital or facility with an orthopedic physician for additional care or surgery. Cynthia works to help the patients find a place to stay when traveling for their follow-up care and helps them to find rides for follow-up care. Although Cynthia provides some services that could be provided by a CHW, she is not considered a CHW in South Dakota as she has not completed an approved CHW Training Program.


Miguel is a Spanish interpreter for the Hispanic population at a Federally Qualified Health Care Center (FQHC) in Huron, SD. Miguel interprets and helps educate patients to better understand basic health education and oral health information. Miguel has recently trained as a Lifestyle Coach for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and will soon be leading a National DPP in Spanish at his FQHC clinic. As a CHW leading a National DPP, Miguel hopes to share more about his personal experiences with prediabetes.
If your organization is interested in learning more about creating a CHW training program, contact the CHWSD for more information, guidance, and technical suppport.