Program Description

HEAL is a 30-hour curriculum on healthy eating and physical activity for community health workers (CHWs) and their clients.  It reflects the commitment of a coalition of community organizations, health care providers, and government agencies in Chicago who have come together to tackle the epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in low-income African American and Latino communities.

There are lots of curricula out there on healthy eating. This curriculum brings together elements of successful educational programs and adds some new features.

  • HEAL is a combination healthy eating and physical activity curricula, integrating both topics into each class session.
  • HEAL is about CHWs and for CHWs and reflects their voices. CHWs were members of the CEED@Chicago Health Literacy/CHW committee that oversaw HEAL’s development. They helped shape the activities based on their own challenges and successful experiences as health educators; they participated in focus groups to identify specific content areas and then pilot tested and evaluated the curriculum.
  • HEAL focuses on teaching skills as well as content. It shows how to teach using interactive and engaging strategies.
  • HEAL is based on adult learning principles and a popular education approach that recognizes that we are all teachers and learners.