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Community Health Ambassador Program (CHAP)

Community Health Ambassador Program (CHAP)

CHAPThe Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE), Three Rivers Health District, and Lenowisco Health District have worked together to pilot test the Community Health Ambassador Program (CHAP) in both health districts with much success. CHAP is funded by OMHHE’s Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program (FLEX). CHAP is modeled after the 10-week Crossover Ministries Lay Healthy Promoters Training that provides all members of the community with information they can share with their family, friends, neighbors, and other members of their social networks. Participants receive training on motivational interviewing as a tool for effectively promoting population-based long-term behavior change. Participants develop a broader perspective of basic health education that includes information about social determinants of health and health equity as they relate personally to their lives. Pam M. Lane, Health Educator Senior for Three Rivers Health District, Shirley Miller, Public Health Educator Senior Lenowisco Health District (LHD), Michelle Mcpheron, Nurse Manager LHD, and Melanie Deel, Health Educator LHD, have successfully implemented CHAP in their health districts. The graduate Community Health Ambassadors (CHAs) remain excited about the potential benefit their newly acquired knowledge will have for improving health outcomes in their communities. In both districts, CHAs are being encouraged to continue their efforts and engage their communities around community-specific health issues as a means of sustaining positive population-based health outcomes. For more information about CHAP, contact Susan L. Triggs at

A new pilot program has been deployed in Essex County to help resolve some barriers to healthcare access. An online portal called the COMMUNITe Resource Guide ( has been created to serve the community through sharing intra-community assets among faith-based organizations, government agencies, medical centers, education centers, and civic organizations. It provides opportunities for members of the community to better understand their own social capital and what they will need to focus on in building community capacity. Through this site, it is hoped that resources will be revealed and used in providing services to those most in need—the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our community. 

Any organization within Essex (or that provides services in) can register on the COMMUNITe Resource Guide ( ). The success of this pilot program will lead the way to opening this portal to other rural counties in Virginia.

If you would like your county to be considered for the program, please contact:  Susan Triggs, Virginia Department of Health, Office of Health and Health Equity, Division of Multicultural Health and Community Engagement at

The Virginia Department of Health, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity funded this project.
Read the About Us ( for more information about this site.

Last Updated: 04-01-2013

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