HLC Community Health Worker Matti Neal has been selected by Healthy Generations to participate in their NEAR Expert Presenter and Coach Education. This is a training cohort which provides Community Health Workers with the skills to teach and lead other Community Health Workers.
NEAR is the important study of the intersection between neuroscience, epigenetics, adverse childhood experiences and resilience. A more technical understanding of NEAR science helps Community Health Workers to better meet the needs of people in the community.
Matti explained NEAR in her own words, “It’s not what’s wrong with people but rather what happens to them.” People are sometimes unaware of their adverse childhood experiences and do not identify the reason for some of the difficulty in their lives. She emphasized, “Adversities can be turned into advantages; and when educated with a new perspective, people’s lives can be transformed. What I enjoy most is seeing people come to this realization for themselves.”
Matti was one of 25 selected out of 100 applicants in the state of WA to participate in the NEAR certification because of her ability to facilitate community conversations and model community change. Embarking on this new journey has inspired Matti to consider returning to school to further her education. Matti said that being involved with the CHW pilot project encouraged her to apply for this opportunity. Going to the CHW trainings and meetings opened her eyes to the desperate need for community change.