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West Virginia has a severe shortage of direct care professionals: Here’s how you can help

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Help your community while earning money — that’s the opportunity that the West Virginia pathways to Professional In-Home Care is offering. The West Virginia Department of Human Services has partnered with the West Virginia University Health Affairs Institute to create a new training program for those interested in providing non-medical care to neighbors, friends, and family in their communities.

Across the state, everyday heroes assist people in their communities with tasks like bathing, dressing, cooking, and cleaning. These heroes are known as direct care professionals, and they play a critical role in supporting individuals in need. West Virginia has a severe shortage of direct care professionals, and through the West Virginia Pathways program, you can help fill that need. 

“As a West Virginia native, I am deeply passionate about addressing the shortage of direct care professionals in our state,” says Will King, program director at Health Affairs Institute. “The West Virginia Pathways program represents a vital step towards ensuring that our communities receive the support they need.”

Individuals looking for a job where they can make an impact can participate in this free training, which teaches skills for providing direct care and in-home support to those in their communities. Whether you’re looking for a meaningful career with future opportunities and growth, or a way to make a difference that provides flexibility and income, now is a great time to learn more about becoming a direct care professional. No experience is necessary, training is paid, and job placement assistance is provided.  

“Through this collaborative effort, we hope to make it easier to access training,” says Health Affairs’  Home and Community-Based Services Director Rebecca Gillam. “Whether people are starting on a career path or looking for part-time or retirement jobs, direct care offers an opportunity to learn, grow, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of our neighbors and loved ones across West Virginia.” 

Led by experienced registered nurses (RNs) within local provider agencies throughout the state, the WV Pathways curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including first aid, CPR, and specialized training tailored for direct care professionals. Visit wvpathtocare.com to learn more about how you can get started making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.  



Shelly Davidov 

WVU Health Affairs Institute 

[email protected]