• SYNCH logo - Supporting Your Needs in Community Healthcare

    Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trained public health professionals who know their community and have the heart for helping others and serving their community.

  • Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trained public health professionals who know their community and have the heart for helping others and serving their community.

    SYNCH assists with CHW:

    • Tuition
    • Training/Work Support
    • Certification
    • Career Services

    Community Health Workers: 

    • Have the same values and culture of those they serve 
    • Build trust within the community 
    • Conduct outreach, community health education, social support and advocate for health of individuals and communities 

    Community Health Worker Training:

    • CHW core competency training
    • 2000 hours of paid or volunteer CHW experience
    • 60 hours of CHW supervision
    • CHW certification from the PA Certification Board

    Community Health Workers connect people in their community to: 

    • Healthcare services and doctors 
    • Community programs and services 
    • Healthy lifestyles and personal wellbeing

    Who can become a CHW?

    • Everyday people who want to make a difference
    • Anyone at least 18 Years old
    • High school diploma or GED required

Featured Participant Story

  • Tara Stroup.

    Tara S., Community Leader and Property Manager

    In Lykens, a Community Leader Wears Many Hats. A community’s health and wellbeing can be measured in a multitude of ways--by the availability of fresh affordable food, emergency housing, public transportation, and pedestrian-friendly green spaces for residents to share. And while it helps to have quick and easy access to healthcare facilities, that’s not always possible in some of Pennsylvania’s rural counties where emergency and specialist care may lie 45 minutes or more from home.

    Fortunately, some rural communities can lean on caring and skilled Community Health Workers like Tara Stroup, Community Leader and Property Manager for Union House Apartments, an income-based housing development in downtown Lykens, Upper Dauphin County. Union House, formerly Hotel Lykens, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is owned and operated by Rochester-based Home Leasing, LLC, a Certified Benefit Corporation, or, B Corp, a for-profit company that meets standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

    Stroup, a Certified Nurse Assistant for 25 years prior to joining Union House in 2018, manages the community’s 28 units, on-site fitness center, and community room, which offers games, movies, and Bingo night, as well as other programming to residents. The community center also serves as a hub for distribution of fresh meat, bread, and desserts donated by community partner Valley Lighthouse--also of Lykens--and Bimbo Bakeries USA of Sunbury, respectively.

    According to Stroup, her years as a CNA have served her well in her role as Property Manager of Union House. She carries a pager 24/7 and responds to many tenant calls regarding health-related concerns, some of them urgent. She has often checked blood pressure, vitals, and performed CPR. Her nursing background carries a lot of weight with her tenants, says Stroup: “They usually listen to me when I say, ‘I think you need to go to the hospital.'"

    Stroup’s unique position as a community leader and residential property manager makes her an ideal candidate for Community Health Worker Training and Certification. So, when she learned of the CSIU’s grant funding to support such training from Bonnie Kent, Operations Manager and Community Liaison for the Northern Dauphin Human Services Center, she was quick to enroll in an evening class offered by Harrisburg Area Community College. “Community Health Workers can be the bridge between the patient and the doctor. The time and effort are worth it to be able to help as many people as we can.”

    The CSIU’s SYNCH Program supports eligible participants with full tuition and stipends as they accumulate hours of on-the-job experience in the field of community health. Fill out an Interest Form or call (570) 246-5902 for more information. Applicants with no prior healthcare experience are encouraged to apply.

Complete the SYNCH Interest Form:

  • Interest Form Button


  • Please call: 
    (570) 246-5902

SYNCH Success

  • Erin M.

  • Missy D.

  • David C.


  • This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.