Academic Programs – Overview

DiaNova Institute’s Community Health & Sexual Trauma Recovery Program is designed to match the field of Community Health Work, with the globally underserved need of education around recovery from sexual trauma and prevention.

The DiaNova Institute operates as the education arm of the DiaNova Foundation. The DiaNova Institute mission is to use our groundbreaking research in sexual trauma recovery to equip Community Health Workers to work with those affected. We are committed to providing classes covering the study and treatment of acute and chronic sexual trauma. We specifically offer a “Community Health & Sexual Trauma Recovery” program.


This program is designed for those who would like to enter the profession of Community Health Work as well as therapists, doctors, nurses, forensic professionals, social workers, lawyers, school mentors, coaches, priests, first-responders and other professionals who would like additional training in how to compassionately assist and educate those who have experienced sexual abuse, as well as education on consent, sexual health, and community health. By adding expertise in identifying and deploying the advanced DiaNova methodologies to their current job, professionals will both expand their reach and become a further asset to their community and current workplace.

Students who complete the program are able to better assist those who have experienced lasting trauma to build and maintain spiritually-grounded, loving, nurturing and healthy intimate relationships, particularly for persons who are impeded by severe sexual trauma, high intimacy anxiety, and related causes.  They are also able to organize and deliver community action plans around reducing sexual trauma, such as group consent training.


The second component of the DiaNova Institute mission is our dedication to research. We are at heart a believer in the scientific method and a data-driven organization (both qualitative and quantitative). DiaNova was built on the pioneering work of Dr. Elaine Floyer and others in defining Intimacy Anxiety Disorder as a result of sexual trauma, and defining and testing effective treatments for it. 

Program Objectives

DiaNova is a nonprofit corporation and is realizing its mission by training community health workers to guide the recovery of people who have experienced acute or chronic sexual trauma. The DiaNova objective is to maximize the number of people trained, and to not allow the cost of program classes to be a prohibitive factor. As such, the cost of this program is on-par with subsidized City Colleges, and at a much lower cost than traditional private colleges or public universities.

These objectives are a subset of the overall DiaNova Foundation mission. Both share our vision of a world where the ability for intimate connection is possibility for everyone.

To view a full outline of our curriculum visit:

More information about the field of Community Health:

Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who have a close understanding of the community they serve. This trusting relationship enables them to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.

Community health workers also build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. (American Public Health Association, 2008)

In January 2009, the Office of Management and Budget officially published the 2010 Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) listing in the Federal Register.  The 2010 SOC includes a unique occupational classification for Community Health Worker (SOC 21-1094).

Community health workers are dedicated individuals who function along a continuum ranging from individual and community development to service delivery and promoting community empowerment and social justice. They often help link people to needed health care information and services.

Community health workers work in all geographic settings, including rural, urban and metropolitan areas; border regions (colonias); and the Native American nations.  Although their roles vary depending on locale and cultural setting, they are most often found working in underprivileged marginalized communities where people may have limited resources; lack access to quality health care; lack the means to pay for health care; speak English fluently; or have cultural beliefs, values and behaviors different from those of the dominant Western health care system. In these communities, community health workers play an integral role in helping systems become more culturally appropriate and relevant to the people the systems serve.

Community health workers typically have deep roots or shared life experiences in the communities they serve. They share similar values, ethnic background and socio-economic status and usually the same language as the people they serve.

The community health worker serves as a bridge between the community and the health care, government and social service systems.

The community health worker’s responsibilities may include:

  • Helping individuals, families, groups and communities develop their capacity and access to resources, including health insurance, food, housing, quality care and health information
  • Facilitating communication and client empowerment in interactions with health care/social service systems
  • Helping health care and social service systems become culturally relevant and responsive to their service population
  • Helping people understand their health condition(s) and develop strategies to improve their health and well being
  • Helping to build understanding and social capital to support healthier behaviors and lifestyle choices
  • Delivering health information using culturally appropriate terms and concepts
  • Linking people to health care/social service resources
  • Providing informal counseling, support and follow-up
  • Advocating for local health needs
  • Providing health services, such as monitoring blood pressure and providing first aid
  • Making home visits to chronically ill patients, pregnant women and nursing mothers, individuals at high risk of health problems and the elderly
  • Translating and interpreting for clients and health care/social service providers

Community health workers go by many titles, depending on where they work, who they work for and what they do. Common titles include health coach, community health advisor, family advocate, health educator, liaison, promoter, outreach worker, peer counselor, patient navigator, health interpreter and public health aide. In Spanish-speaking communities, community health workers are often referred to as health promoters or promotores(as) de salud.

The role of the community health worker started as a societal position, appointed by and responsible to the community’s members. Advocates and activists dedicated their time and talents to ensuring that local people received the health information, resources and health care services they needed.

The success of their efforts has caused many government agencies, nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups and health care providers to create paid positions for community health workers to help reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the persistent disparities in health care and health outcomes in underprivileged communities. The organizations benefit by gaining access to information about health care needs in these communities, which they can use to improve the design of health services.

Community health workers may:

  • Staff tables at community events
  • Provide health screenings, referrals and information
  • Help people complete applications to access health benefits
  • Visit homes to check on individuals with specific health conditions
  • Drive clients to medical appointments
  • Deliver health education presentations to schoolchildren and their parents and teachers

Community health workers hired by health care agencies often have a disease or population-based focus, such as promoting the health of pregnant women or children, improving nutrition, promoting immunization or providing education around a specific health issue, such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS.

Community health workers are defined by the trust they receive from the communities they work in.  To be effective, community health workers must secure, preserve and develop that trust.  This can put the community health worker in a difficult position, particularly when there is a disconnect between program goals and community priorities. For example, communities that rely on their own traditional medical practitioners (such as native healers) may resist efforts by a community health worker to refer patients to Western health care resources. Community health workers must be able to balance their responsibilities to the community with their employer’s agenda.

Salary Range and Outlook

Throughout the United States, the community health worker field is burgeoning, both in interest and demand, yet the practice lacks definition, standards and openly available training opportunities. The field is also rapidly expanding into new areas of health and community wellness as community health workers continue to improve chronic disease management programs, health insurance enrollment, immunization drives, HIV/AIDS treatment, access to mental health services and maternal-child health interventions.

Becoming a community health worker is almost an idiosyncratic process, involving individuals seeking opportunities to help their community through a patchwork of employment opportunities, often known only by word of mouth and with highly varied job requirements and situations.  This is unfortunate in that the lack of community health worker identity and standards of practice has led employers to contribute to the confusion about who community health workers are and what they do.

Community health worker salaries vary depending on local economies, wage scales and demand.  In major metropolitan areas, recommended starting annual salaries range from $35,000 to $42,000, while senior community health workers can earn $42,000 to $52,000 and supervising community health workers may earn $52,000 to $60,000. Community health managers generally earn salaries above $60,000.

Community health workers often are hired to support a specific health initiative, which may depend on short-term funding sources. As a result, community health workers may have to move from job to job to obtain steady income. This short-term categorical funding of health services is a challenge to the stability and sustainability of the community health worker practice.

Academic Requirements

Community health worker (CHW) training and educational requirements vary across states, cities, employers and employment sectors.  The field lacks unified training standards, so trainings tend to be generally local and sometimes employer driven.

A few states have regulated training through various methods, including by developing a standardized curriculum, yet there are very limited examples that follow the recommendations in published promising practices. Until a core role is agreed upon, the development of a nationally recognized curriculum framework will continue to vary.

Recently, however, states are starting to develop training and credentialing criteria more informed by community health worker leadership and by documented promising practices.

The setting of community health worker training programs also varies widely.  Some states have developed college-based training while others have implemented community-based training resources.

Today, community health workers are being recognized more and more for their contribution to community organizing, increasing access to health and improving health outcomes. This increased attention to the community health worker role by health care providers, community organizations and government officials has created interest in providing appropriate training and supervision.


Qualifications for community health workers vary widely. Some employers require only a high school diploma, while others require a college degree.  Community health workers typically receive up to 100 hours of additional training on the job, through classroom study, job mentoring or a combination. 

Community health workers are not licensed, but employers may set continuing education requirements.

Several states have begun to develop credentialing programs for community health workers. An effort is also underway to develop state and national standards for training and capacity building for community health workers.

One initiative in particular is focused primarily on collecting and sharing promising practices among community health workers to ensure that training benefits from and is responsive to their experiences, needs and knowledge level. This unique effort was in part a response to the limited success of efforts by states and other regulators to impose standards on the practice without input from community health workers and leaders.

Also in light of this growing interest in regulating the practice, several independent professional associations of community health workers have recently organized to address the rapidly emerging policy issues relevant to their practice.


The IRS confirms that the DiaNova Foundation, and DiaNova Institute as an arm of the DiaNova Foundation, have 501(c)(3) exempt status as of April 12 2016.  The foundation has “Public Charity Status”, with reference to 170(b)(1)(A)(ii). This confirms the IRS recognizes Dianova as a public charity by virtue of being an educational organization (i.e. school), as of April 12 2016.

The DiaNova Institute is the education program of the DiaNova Foundation, a religious nonprofit, 501(c)3 corporation registered in the State of California.

At the moment, the DiaNova Institute offers a limited number of independent, stand-alone classes which are not under the jurisdiction of the BPPE, do not lead to a degree, and are not eligible for Federal grants. 


Health and Intimacy Studies is a unique, independent and freestanding academic and scientific discipline that studies, examines and researches all aspects and manifestations of how humans behave sexually at a most basic level, both historically and culturally.

When studying, examining and researching what humans and other animals do sexually, sexology classifies what is like and what is dislike, i.e. the emic and etic. Health and Intimacy Studies examines what is understood to be “normal” healthy, positive and legal sexual behavior in these contexts and compares, contrasts and analyzes it in light of what is “normative” sexual behavior.

Health and Intimacy Studies also includes examining the biology, physiology, endocrinology and evolution of human and other primate sexual behavior. The range of examination includes but is not limited to everything from how humans become sexually aroused physiologically and hormonally, the interplay of sexuality and evolution, and, the intricacies of the socio-sexual response cycle. The academic and scientific discipline of sexology cross pollinates not only with the aforementioned sciences but also the political, social, class, religious, educational and other social-cultural constructs, mores and values that influence how humans express and manifest sexuality. To complete its context, Health and Intimacy Studies also compares and contrasts human sexual expression to that of other primates and less complex animals.

Sexologists are also at the forefront of sexual education and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and diseases.  Mary Calferon, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a Sexologist, as was John Mongy, the head of the Gender Reassignment Clinic at John Hopkins, and Helen Singer Kalplan, the founder of Seicus.

The Academic discipline and science of Health and Intimacy Studies emerged in the 19th century with the other physical and social sciences that were born during this era.  Health and Intimacy Studies comes from the same explosion of academic and scientific inquiry as biology, anatomy, physiology, Psychiatry, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science.  Beginning in 1903, physicians and psychiatrists began to examine, diagnose and treat sexual issues (Drs Bloch and Hirschfeld).  What humans did trans-culturally was examined and studied as Europeans began to have contact with other societies and cultures.

Alfred Kinsey, a biologist, and his team began to conduct the first systematic taxological study of human sexuality in the 1930s.  The two volumes produced by Kinsey, Pomeroy and Martin-Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female—revolutionized and transformed America’s understanding of what people did sexually.  William H. Masters, M.D./OBGYN and Virginia Johnson, a sociologist, researched the physiology of Human Sexuality, and began the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dissatisfaction and dysfunction in the post-WWII era.  

Sexologists are often learned and licensed professionals whose area of practice addresses or concerns human sexual behavior.  Medical doctors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social workers, and local professionals who have specific education and study regarding human sexuality and who address the questions, concerns and dissatisfaction and or dysfunction of others are Sexologists.   In addition, those highly educated and skilled experts are Sexologists.  The academic and scientific disciplines of Health and Intimacy Studies address all things sexual and can lead to expertise and specialization for any professional who encounter and addresses these issues.

Intimacy Anxiety Disorder is high anxiety regarding some or all aspects of intimacy. Intimacy is one of the strongest drives in human experience.  Intimacy refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together; a familiar and very close affective connection with another. There are many individuals who have the desire, are yearning, to form an intimate relationship with a potential partner or romantic interest, but have very high anxiety regarding initiating behavior. These people can be considered for a diagnosis of Intimacy Anxiety Disorder. There are 10 million people with Intimacy Anxiety Disorder in US.

The Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) does not have an accurate diagnostic category for individuals with high levels of anxiety about intimate contact with potential partners, including sexual and/or partner-social interaction with potential partners. These individuals don’t fit in either DSM-5 category for Sexual Dysfunctions or Anxiety Disorders.

Dr. Elaine Floyer has formally defined Intimacy Anxiety Disorder in the format used in DSM-5, as is shown in Figure 1.  After Figure 1 there is a differential diagnosis of Intimacy Anxiety Disorder from other Anxiety Disorders and from Sexual Dysfunctions.

“The key DiaNova differentiator is combining spiritual guidance together with experiential work that integrates breathing, touching, sensing and moving as necessary components of complete and thorough healing and lifelong change.”