CHC Community Health Worker Participant’s Inspirational Story Featured in the Washington Post

Sabrina Heard, community health worker at the Women's Collective in the District.

CHC is committed to expanding the District’s pool of highly qualified Community Health Workers (CHWs) to meet the increasing needs of our population requiring linkages and resources to healthcare. CHWs and frontline public health workers with a strong understanding of the communities they serve, and they possess a particular skill set geared towards addressing and alleviating the gaps in health services delivery. CHWs provide residents with a range of services including access to health care, direct outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. We are happy to announce that one of Capital Health Careers' CHW participants, Sabrina Heard, was featured in Washington Post article, Fighting HIV in D.C., one day at a time by Ian Shapiro. In the article, Heard shares about her fulfilling work as a CHW at The Women’s Collective. The Women’s Collective is a nonprofit in DC whose mission is to meet the self-defined needs of women, girls and their families living with or at-risk for HIV/AIDS, reducing barriers to care and strengthening their network of support and services

Read the article below-

Fighting HIV in D.C., one day at a time
By Ian Shapira

Inside the HIV/AIDS nonprofit the Women’s Collective, Sabrina Heard walked a 37-year-old client with HIV into a private room for a serious talk at the end of a long day.

Would she, Heard asked, be able to keep an upcoming doctor’s appointment?

“I’m struggling to see if I can go. If I don’t, I won’t get medicine,” said the woman, an unemployed mother of four who knew the risks of going without. “I want a vacation.”

Heard, a community health worker who also has HIV, gave her an exasperated look, then stretched out her arms and palms.

“Put your hands on the table. I want to touch your hands now,” Heard said. She clasped the woman’s hands tightly. “This may be new for you. I remember when it was new for me.”

At the Women’s Collective, a one-floor clinic in a Northeast Washington strip mall with a liquor store and pawnshop, a single day spent with Heard can illuminate the battles of HIV/AIDS patients in granular, raw detail.

Each step of her day, Heard, 55, juggles the complexities of her own diagnosis, complicated now by a nettlesome change in her Medicaid status. But she soldiers on, dispensing cheerful, tough therapy to her clients with HIV and walk-ins who need to be tested.

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Fighting HIV in D.C., one day at a time


About Capital Health Careers - CHC recruits the unemployed, dislocated, and incumbent workforce, especially those with low income and limited skills, who would like to enter or advance in health care careers. CHC then provides training for those seeking careers as direct health care workers and health information technology specialists. Training programs at the Community College of the District of Columbia include Community Health Worker, Home Health Aide, Direct Support Professional, Certified Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse and RN-BSN (Bachelors Degree). Health Information Technology educational programs are available at Catholic University of America. CHC also provides support services to assist students throughout course completion, the job search process, and post-placement retention. This project is open to persons who reside or work in the District of Columbia.
CHC is funded in part by a 4.9 million grant from the US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The CHC Partners include: Catholic University of America, Community College of the District of Columbia, United Planning Organization, District of Columbia Primary Care Association, Department on Disability Services, Department of Employment Services, and Providence Hospital.

For additional information regarding Capital Health Careers, please contact the CHC Project Coordinator, Tracy C. McGhee at