Class of 1950

First class of CHA graduates and their instructor, 1968.

About the Alaska CHAP Program

The Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) was developed in the 1960s in response to a number of health concerns, including: the tuberculosis epidemic, high infant mortality and high rates of injury in rural Alaska. In 1968, CHAP received formal recognition and congressional funding. The long history of cooperation and coordination between federal and state governments as well as Native tribal health organizations has facilitated improved health status in rural Alaska.  

CHAP now consists of a network of approximately 550 Community Health Aides/Practitioners (CHA/Ps) in more than 170 rural Alaska villages. CHA/Ps work within the guidelines of the 2006 Alaska Community Health Aide/Practitioner Manual, which outlines assessment and treatment protocols. There is an established referral relationship which includes midlevel providers, physicians, regional hospitals and the Alaska Native Medical Center. In addition, providers such as public health nurses, physicians and dentists make visits to villages to see clients in collaboration with the CHA/Ps.

The Alaska Area Native Health Service (AANHS) has the responsibility of providing medical and health related services to Indian Health Service beneficiaries residing in Alaska. These services are provided by tribal organizations within the Alaska Native Health Care System. The village based CHA/Ps are a vital link in the delivery system.

CHAs are selected by their communities to receive training. Training centers are located in Anchorage, Bethel, Nome and Sitka. There are four sessions of CHA training, each of which lasts three to four weeks. Between sessions, CHAs work in their clinics completing a skills list and practicum. After successfully completing the four-session training curriculum and a clinical skills preceptorship and examination, the CHA qualifies as a Community Health Practitioner (CHP). CHA/Ps at any level of training may obtain certification by the Community Health Aide Program Certification Board (CHAPCB).

For more information on the Community Health Aide Program, please contact:

Victorie Heart, RN, MS, Director
Alaska CHAP, Office of Statewide Services/Rural Health
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
4000 Ambassador Drive, Room 419
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 729-3642
Fax: (907) 729-3629