The Community Health Program (CHAP) was founded in the 1960s to provide health care access to rural communities. CHAP is a network comprised of approximately 550 Community Health Aides/Practitioners (CHA/P)in more than 170 rural Alaska villages.
To become a CHA, members from the communities are trained in Anchorage, Bethel, Nome, and Fairbanks where they undergo an intensive program that includes classroom instruction, hands-on training, and clinical practice. The program gives the aides the skills to provide a number of services such as eye exams, responding to emergencies and diagnosing ear infection. After the program, aides go back to work in their communities to start seeing patients. The aids work closely with medical professionals in their regional hospitals. Website: http://www.akchap.org/html/about-chap.html