Video Spotlight

"'I'm a Health Worker' - Abduaraman Gidi" made by IntraHealth International.

Community Health Workers: Integral Members of the Health Care Work Force

As the US health care system strives to function efficiently, encourage preventive and primary care, improve quality, and overcome nonfinancial barriers to care, the potential exists for community health workers to further these goals.

Community health workers "101" for primary care providers and other stakeholders in health care systems.

Today's ambulatory care providers face numerous challenges as they try to practice efficient, patient-centered medicine. This article explains how community health workers (CHWs) can be engaged to address many patient- and system-related barriers currently experienced in ambulatory care practices. Community health workers are frontline public health workers who serve as a trusted bridge between community members and health care providers. Among their varied roles, CHWs can educate and support patients in managing their risk factors and diseases and link these patients to needed resources.

A Summary of State Community Health Worker Laws


The  Community Health Workers in Massachusetts: Improving Health Care and Public Health Report (2009) identifies four areas in which Departments of Public Health and partner organizations can develop a sustainable CHW program: infrastructure, professional identity, workforce development, and financing. The report includes recommendations in each area and a fact sheet that summarizes the extent to which States have enacted laws addressing the four areas. 

Addressing Chronic Disease through Community Health Workers: A Policy and Systems-Level Approach. A Policy Brief on Community Health Workers

This document provides guidance and resources for implementing recommendations to integrate community health workers (CHWs) into community-based efforts to prevent chronic disease. After providing general information on CHWs in the United States, it sets forth evidence demonstrating the value and impact of CHWs in preventing and managing a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

The Community Health Worker’s Sourcebook: A Training Manual for Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke

Community health workers (CHWs) can play a critical role in promoting healthy living by educating community members about heart disease and stroke prevention and by helping people understand the importance of health care self-management, especially in underserved communities throughout the United States.

Handbook for Enhancing Community Health Worker Programs: Guidance for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (Part 1)

This handbook contains a synthesis of the most current information available for developing and managing effective community health worker programs. A description of key components of effective community health worker programs is provided, along with action templates to develop tools for applying what is learned. Upon completing this manual, the reader will build skills in community assessment; program planning; recruiting; training; managing and maintaining community health workers; and evaluation of community health worker programs.

Breast and Cervical Cancer Messages for Community Health Worker Programs: A Training Packet (Part 2)

This training packet provides an introduction to interactive methods for training community health workers, and three lesson plans for training CHWs to include breast and cervical cancer messages in their work. The included lesson plans are (a) key facts about finding breast and cervical cancer early; (b) barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening, and (c) encouraging women to get screened for breast and cervical cancer. Trainer resources, handouts of additional information for participants, and transparencies are also contained in the training packet.

Healthy Massachusetts Disease Management and Wellness: Focus on Diabetes

Chronic conditions, such as heart failure, diabetes and asthma are pervasive among Massachusetts residents. In March 2008, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) convened the Disease Management and Wellness Task Force with broad representation from more than 40 organizations to develop an action-oriented framework for managing and treating chronic disease in Massachusetts, focusing initially on diabetes. This report introduces six recommendations to reduce and prevent diabetes by integrating CHWs in the chronic care.

Effectiveness of community health workers delivering preventive interventions for maternal and child health in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

Community Health Workers are widely utilised in low- and middle-income countries and may be an important tool in reducing maternal and child mortality; however, evidence is lacking on their effectiveness for specific types of programmes, specifically programmes of a preventive nature.

Community-Based Tuberculosis Prevention and Care: Why—and How—to Get Involved. An International Handbook for Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations

This document is designed to serve as a handbook, or primer, for NGO s and civil society organizations (CSOs) that are considering joining the fight against tuberculosis (TB). It provides information on TB and how it is prevented, diagnosed, and treated, how TB programs work on the ground, how communities and CSOs can get involved, and special populations that need extra attention. Step-by-step guidance on getting started in addressing TB , pitfalls to avoid, and a list of useful resources are included.


CHW Central is managed by Initiatives Inc. Site start-up was supported by the USAID Health Care Improvement Project in 2011.

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